All regions set to benefit from training facilities and base camps for more than 140 competing nations
The whole of the UK is set to benefit from London’s victory in the race for the 2012 Olympic games as teams from abroad begin negotiations over accommodation, training camps.
Olympic organisers from more than 140 countries will now descend on Britain as they begin talks with local councils and other bodies over training, secure facilities and accommodation.
Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said the benefit to the UK economy would be huge. Watts, who is also heavily involved in the management of the British Olympic fencing team, said he expected many development deals to be negotiated.
Referring to his experiences with the British fencing team in Paphos, Cyprus, during the Olympics in Athens, Watts said it was likely that the deals would be long term. He said: “Countries will come to the UK looking to make base camps – they will want to base themselves in certain cities and will be quick to take over the best facilities. In other areas, facilities will need to be built.”
Watts added that the issue of labour would not be a problem for the UK construction industry. He said: “Out of all the countries bidding, we were the best equipped. We have always recruited workers from abroad – we will just turn on the tap to recruit what is needed.”
A host of leading government and industry leaders have stepped forward to salute the London victory. Stephen Ratcliffe, chief executive of the Construction Confederation, said: “It is a prestigious project that gives the UK construction sector a chance to show it is world class. On the downside, we have got a hell of a lot of work to do between now and 2012. It will have to be slickly planned and there will be little scope for delay.”
Deputy prime minister John Prescott said that the decision would help the Thames Gateway regeneration programme in Kent and Essex. He said: “The Olympics development programme will integrate with the regeneration work continuing in the Thames Gateway to ensure that we not only create an event, but a long-term set of leisure facilities, homes, jobs and thriving communities. This will establish it not only as a pre-eminent location for sport but a place where people want to live and work.”
He said he looked forward to working with government colleagues to meet the challenges of the pre-Olympic programme. He said: “I know we are up to it.”
Pam Alexander, chief executive of the South East England Development Agency, added that the decision gave the South-east a great opportunity to build a lasting legacy. She said: “The new facilities, investment and boost to tourism will bring huge benefits to everyone.”
Farshid Moussavi, director of Foreign Office Architects, said the firm would love to take forward the designs for the stadium that it had contributed to the bid. She added that FOA would be taking on extra people if it won any of the tenders.
She said: “Now we have to wait and see how it is going to be organised.
“We were part of the team for the masterplan and hope that we will be involved in organising it. It has been deliberately set out – it’s not just a bunch of individual buildings dumped on the Lower Lea Valley – so we would obviously want to help with the consistency of this.”
Guy Nicholson, a Hackney council regeneration cabinet member, said the local authorities covering the Olympic site were offering to volunteer planners and any other staff to help with the project.
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