Strategic Forum to set up liaison group to iron out problems as contractors position themselves to win work.
The Strategic Forum is to set up a taskforce to deliver London’s Olympic Games in 2012.
The Olympic taskforce will liaise between the construction industry, the Olympic Delivery Agency and the government to deal with any construction bottlenecks.
Following the announcement of London’s victory in Singapore on Wednesday, Tony Winterbottom, London Development Agency director, said: “We’re very pleased. It’s a sensational result. What happens next? We’re going to deliver the Olympic Games. We’re doing things like evaluating tenders of power lines. We started building work
18 months ago, because we always assumed we were going to win. Some Official Journal adverts will go out this week.”
The Olympics will generate £10bn of investment in Britain, £2.5bn of which will be construction-related, according to the Construction Products Association.
It is expected that the group will be set up in the next two months and will be chaired by someone from the forum, although outgoing forum chairman Peter Rogers could take on the position. The government has announced the appointment of Tessa Jowell as the Olympics minister who will co-ordinate the work.
The taskforce will pull together the expertise of chief executives and leading players from contractors, consultants, designers and materials manufacturers so that any capacity, planning, or industry problems are quickly resolved.
The decision to create the liaison group emerged as companies from across the built environment began positioning themselves to win work to design and deliver the Olympic facilities and the associated east London regeneration programme.
A consortium including Mace, Davis Langdon and Deloitte & Touche has emerged as a frontrunner to oversee the entire Olympic construction programme. Jon Coxeter-Smith, a partner in Davis Langdon’s sports division, said the firm was looking at taking on extra staff to cope with the Olympic workload. Turner & Townsend and American firms Bechtel and Fluor Daniel are also expected to bid for the contract.
The LDA will put out the tenders for the work in the Lea Valley immediately. Gareth Blacker, LDA’s director of development, said some of the work in the Lea Valley Olympic zone had gone out to tender. Blackler said the first project would be a £200m job to ground all the power lines in the Lea Valley.
A shortlist of four has been drawn up and a winner will be unveiled at the end of the month.
The next tenders will be for:
- A designer for the Olympic park, excluding the buildings. A shortlist will be selected later this month.
- A programme manager to co-ordinate the build process. A shortlist will be selected this month.
- A designer for the velodrome. The tender will go out next month.
Blacker said 81% of the land in the valley had been acquired and remediation work would be pushed forward. All Olympic issues will now be handled by the ODA, which will be set up by an act of parliament. The draft bill was announced in the Queen’s speech in May. The intention is to secure a second reading before the summer recess begins on 20 July.
In the meantime, the LDA will handle infrastructure such as utilities, and Transport for London will look after transport.