Councillor Mike Whitby has thrown his support behind a growing campaign to bring the manufacturing contract for the 2012 Olympic medals to Birmingham.

The leader of Birmingham City Council said the city had a reputation for producing "the finest and most recognisable trophies".

"This is just one great example of how companies in the Birmingham area can play a significant role in the London 2012 Olympic Games," he said.

His comments came in response to Tuesday's speech by Sir Digby Jones, director general of the CBI.

Speaking at an business summit in London, the former Birmingham lawyer said he hoped British firms would be given preference when contracts for the 2012 Olympic were awarded.

This, he said, included the manufacture of the Olympic medals.

There will be at least 298 medal events at London 2012 with approximately 1,200 gold, silver and bronze medals to be made.

A decision on which company will be awarded the contract to make the medals will not be taken until at least 2009.

However, Sir Keith Mills, the vice-chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Committee, has already promised that the medal manufacturers would be British.

Birmingham stands a good chance of winning any British Olympic medal contract. It has a long tradition of medal making and is home to a number of long-running manufacturers including Firmin & Sons, Vaughtons and Toye, Kenning and Spencer.

Birmingham trophy and medal maker Thomas Fattorini is one such manufacturer, which is supporting Sir Digby's speech.

Tom Fattorini, the company's managing director, said Birmingham was "uniquely qualified" to take on the job.

"Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter is the heartland of the medal-making industry," he said.

"There is no other place that is as rich in experience and technical knowledge."

Mr Fattorini stressed the importance of Britain securing the medal contract.

"I would be angry if the contract went abroad and it it would confirm my worst fears about the system," he said.

"It would throw the British stamp on the Games into question." ..SUPL: