The managing director of Provian Construction wonders how the big contractors will work together on the Olympics

The year ahead


Will there be a new government in 2008?

I can’t see it myself. I think the majority of the voting public are too fickle and have too short a memory.

The economy - boom, bust or bubbling along?

I think it’s inevitable that there will be a downturn. As I’ve mentioned, the ‘Brown’ bubble has burst. However, I think we, as Provian, are fortunate to be in the position we are, especially in terms of geographical location. With schemes such as the Olympics, the Thames Gateway, Medway Renaissance and Dover Pride on our doorstep, plus the recent Kent BSF announcement, we are in quite an enviable position. 2008 will definitely be an exciting year, with lots of opportunities for us that, thankfully, will not be greatly affected by any change in the economy.

Will you be going green(er)?

Yes, very much so. Sustainability is something that forms part of virtually everything we do as a contractor. As such, we, like many of our competitors, will be taking sustainability very seriously next year and will be looking at ways in which we, and our projects, can go greener. I think there will also be a lot of development of green ideas to turn them into tangible and feasible solutions – ones that can be incorporated into the construction process.

What will everybody be talking about?

I think there will be a lot of talk about the escalating cost of the Olympics and its logistics. An interesting factor will be main contractors being asked to work for other main contractors who are part of the ODA.

Also, I know there will be a lot of talk in our office about the opportunities we are going to be faced with. All in all, I think 2008 will be a very exciting year.

...and the year just gone

What was the best thing about 2007?

Two things spring to mind; the successful rebrand of Provian Construction and this week’s announcement of the winning consortium for the massive BSF (Building Schools for the Future) programme for Kent – Provian are fortunate to be one of the contractors. Definitely the best early Christmas presents I have had for a while!

What was the worst thing about 2007?

The worst things about 2007 were: the inconsistent and often downright miserable weather; the shortage of experienced quantity surveyors (which isn’t a new thing); and the ‘Brown’ bubble bursting. Unfortunately, these things are out of my control.

What is your favourite building/project of 2007?

I would naturally like to provide a shortlist of Provian buildings but for a truly great example of British architecture and craftsmanship, I would say the redevelopment of St Pancras station. It demonstrates what, as an industry, we can achieve and it is a project of which all those involved should justifiably be proud.