Main contractor for Olympic aquatics centre aims to keep much of the subcontracting in house

Balfour Beatty is planning to keep much of the subcontracting on the £242m Olympic aquatics centre in house, it is understood.

The company was finally confirmed as main contractor for the venue last week after months of negotiation over the budget.

It is understood that it wants to bring Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering and Haden Young on board to do piling, ground improvement and M&E work.

A source said: “It will really help them to control the programme to have their own guys on it.”

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) announced that the overall budget for the aquatics centre would be £303m, including costs for surrounding infrastructure and legacy conversion.

Zaha Hadid’s building has a budget of £242m and £61m is allocated for the land bridge. The source defended the centre’s budget, which has risen four-fold from the £75m estimate in the Olympic bid. “They are not taking the ODA to the cleaners with this,” he said. “The Treasury has given it final approval.”

It is understood that construction could start in June, a month earlier than expected.

The ODA also announced that the velodrome would have a price tag of £80m, twice the amount detailed in the Olympic bid.

It is also understood that a deal with Carillion to build the £400m media centre has yet to be signed, as Barclays Bank, the contractor’s backer, has yet to agree a funding package. Rival bidder Bouygues has not been officially told that it has lost the bid.

n The ODA has appointed a panel of legal experts to settle disputes on the 2012 Games before they escalate into expensive court cases. The Independent Dispute Avoidance Panel is made up of 10 industry figures.