Developer invites firms to bid for major part of £900m athletes village work against own UK subsidiary

Australian developer Lend Lease looks set to give a major slice of work on the £900m athletes' village being built for the 2012 Olympic Games to the rivals of its UK subsidiary Bovis Lend Lease.

Bovis has been preparing the site for the work to start in earnest but Lend Lease has now invited others to pitch for the work. The move raises the prospect that Bovis's Tier 1 peers, such as Laing O'Rourke, Skanska, Sir Robert McAlpine and Carillion, could end up carrying out work for Harrow-based firm's owner.

Construction management services will still continue to be provided by Bovis Lend Lease.

A Lend Lease spokeswoman said: “It was always the intention to go out to the market and test things with other contractors. The procurement strategy has always been flexible to tailor our approach as times goes on.

“Over the past year, the change in the market has been significant and there is now an opportunity for others to have a look.”

Among the jobs up for grabs are construction of the 11 residential blocks on the east London site and a car park.

The spokeswoman said packages would be let as a whole to one main contractor or as trade packages to individual firms. She said: “We need to make sure the village is delivered with value for money and that we are spreading the risk.”

Lend Lease bought Bovis from shipping company P&O back in 1999 when David Higgins, now chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), was chief executive of the Australian firm.

It isn't the first time the developer has declined to use its UK subsidiary to build a major project. Last year it brought in Laing O'Rourke to build the 360 tower in Elephant and Castle, and tendered for additional construction partners on the Greenwich Peninsula regeneration scheme.