Contractor to offer free advice over procurement strategy and construction programme for east London sites.

Contractor Laing O’Rourke has joined up with the London 2012 Olympic Games bid team to work out a procurement strategy.

Others involved include the construction group Mace and the London Development Agency. The group must decide how the overall Olympic zone should be delivered by the construction industry.

Mace is a paid member of the Olympic masterplan team, whereas it is understood that Laing O’Rourke approached London 2012 to offer its services and would essentially be working without payment.

If London is successful in its bid, all major projects will almost certainly be tendered through the Official Journal of the European Union but Laing O’Rourke would gain some kudos from associating itself with the pre-construction work.

In a statement, the firm said: “Laing O’Rourke is acting as a construction and development consultancy. By gaining a full understanding of the venue and infrastructure proposals, as well as the anticipated project costs, we have been able to offer advice on procurement routes and the construction timeline.”

James Bulley, London 2012’s director of infrastructure, confirmed that the bid team was working with Laing O’Rourke. He said that the main work on procurement strategies could be completed by Christmas, although it would not be made public until the New Year.

Mark Channon, an LDA project executive, said that the team would be holding talks with the government on procuring the games. He said:

“It’s basically to decide how the overall Olympic park would be delivered. We’ll be having discussions with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the DTI, the ODPM and the Government Office for London.”

Meanwhile, building the Olympics could be made easier by the establishment of a single planning authority for the 2012 operation.

Local and national officials last week discussed setting up an Olympic urban development corporation (UDC) to handle developments in the Lea Valley Olympic zone and any national planning issues arising from the games.

The Lea Valley is already part of a UDC, essentially a speeded-up planning authority, because it lies within the Thames Gateway UDC. However, the proposed body would be exclusively focused on the Olympics, according to insiders.

Guy Nicholson, Hackney council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said that the UDC would continue the work of the joint planning body set up by the five councils in the Olympics area.

It would liaise with bodies such as Transport for London, the ODPM and the DCMS, the government department that is taking the lead on the Olympics.

London 2012 has also revealed how much the Olympics would cost. The London Organising Committee of the Games’ operational budget for the Olympics and Paralympics is to be £1.5bn.

This does not include the capital cost of the venues or other permanent infrastructure. This should be funded by a £2.4bn package agreed by the government and the Mayor of London. Private sector investment is also expected.

This includes £560m for new venues in the Olympic Park, such as the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatic Centre and the Velodrome.

The redevelopment plan for the Lower Lea Valley, costs not associated with the games, has been estimated at £800m. It will be funded from central government and is not included in the £2.4bn.