The Olympic organisers have to protect their brand but the construction firms also need some recognition, says Peter Murray
So often the construction industry gets a bad press through no fault of its own:
- The Dome took the blame for the overspend on the Millennium celebrations while it was in fact a brilliant and remarkably cheap building delivered ahead of time;
- The Scottish Parliament fiasco was more the fault of politicians than it was of the architects and contractors;
- Few gave due credit for the first class construction of Terminal 5 whose delivery was marred by an unwieldy planning system and badly trained BA baggage handlers.
I fully understand that LOCOG has to give preferential treatment to sponsors, but there are ways of doing this without censoring those who are proud to be involved in such a significant project
Now we have a success that shows that the UK construction industry can deliver large scale projects on time and on budget, but most of the teams involved will gain little recognition for their work because of the London 2012 No Marketing Rights Protocol which prevents them from showcasing their involvement in the Games.
I fully understand that LOCOG has to give preferential treatment to sponsors, I understand how they have to protect their brand, but there are ways of doing this without censoring those who are proud to be involved in such a significant project.
It is government policy to try and rebalance the economy, and the export of design and construction skills, with London operating as a global hub, can play a major role in meeting that goal.
Allowing companies to let the world know of their role in the success of the delivery of the Olympics will help boost UK PLC in these difficult times.
Surely a quick call from Cameron to Coe suggesting that LOCOG comes up with a positive strategy to deal with this issue and calls off the legal attack dogs, is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Contracts can be renegotiated, the letter if the law relaxed, blind eyes turned - remember Nelson, Seb.
I look forward to the Olympics enormously, I am full of praise for the achievements of the ODA but LOCOG is building itself an unfortunate reputation for arrogance which a relaxation of the Marketing Rights Protocol might go some way to assuaging.
Peter Murray chairman NLA - London’s Centre for the Built Environment