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2012: The Opportunities

Performing on the World Stage(s)

One UK manufacturing company well-equipped to capitalise on the construction opportunities of the 2012 Olympics is Ancon. In addition to an impressive project portfolio that cites numerous Olympic, Commonwealth and European sporting venues, the company’s comprehensive product range spans various construction sectors integral to the development of an Olympic city, most notably residential, leisure and infrastructure.

Ancon designs and manufactures high integrity steel products including,

For concrete: Shear load connectors, Reinforcing bar couplers

For masonry: Stainless steel support and restraint fixings

For other constructions: Tension bar systems, Special stainless steel fabrications

Here are just a few of Ancon’s high profile project references.

Sports Stadia

Sports stadia are subject to considerable loads. Movement joints in concrete structure must be designed to allow the inevitable movement and load transfer that takes place. Ancon DSD Shear Load Connectors were installed in Sydney’s Olympic Stadium at all beam to slab connections. This stadium was completed in 1998 and was the central venue for track and field events at the 2000 Games. With a capacity to seat 110,000 people, the Sydney Olympic Stadium is the largest facility ever built for an Olympic Games.

Similar products were installed on the redevelopment of Old Trafford, Manchester United’s ground, when the old Stretford End terrace was replaced with an all-seated stand in 1993 and more recently on the redevelopment of the Melbourne Cricket Ground for this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Other Ancon project successes include the Portuguese football stadiums ‘Estádio da Luz’ and ‘Estádio Municipal de Braga’ home to Benfica and Sporting Braga respectively which were built to host the Euro 2004 Championship, and the City of Manchester Stadium (pictured above) built for the Commonwealth Games of the same year. Braga’s stadium is particularly noteworthy for its innovative design as it is built into the Monte Castro hillside with high rock faces on two of its four sides.

Masonry Construction

Although Ancon’s stainless steel masonry fixings are predominantly used to support external cladding in the residential and commercial sectors, these products have also been installed in several prestigious sporting arenas to restrain internal block walls. London-based venues include the Wimbledon Number 1 Court, the new Arsenal ‘Emirates Stadium’ and the new Wembley Stadium. The build of London’s ‘Olympic Village’ and new hotel facilities offer significant opportunities for the company.


An Ancon Tension System supports the canopies on the Marousi train station in the northern suburbs of Athens, Greece. This station was built to service the city centre venues at the last Olympics. Ancon tension bars transfer load from the front of the canopies back to the main structure. Canopies are frequently supported from above to provide unobstructed access below. An open layout is particularly important on station platforms and other projects with areas of limited space where large groups of people assemble.

Another infrastructure project of note in Ancon’s portfolio is the Channel Tunnel Rail Link where the company supplied stainless steel bridge cappings and associated support brackets to each of the overbridges crossing the high-speed line. Each capping was manufactured from perforated stainless sheet with a special polished finish to its exposed face, and was installed with anti-tamper fixings. The company manufactures special stainless steel fabrications for many industries where the specifier demands a maintenance-free life and/or an aesthetic surface finish.

Olympic Projects Co-ordinator

Ancon’s preparations for the London Games are already underway. Dennis Ansell, Ancon’s Technical Services Manager, has collated all the current information available on the Games’ construction programme and has been named the company’s main contact for all Olympic-related enquiries. Dennis can be contacted on the direct line +44 (0) 114 238 1342 or by email -

The above article appeared in ‘Stainless Steel Industry’ magazine in June 2006.

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