Plans to tear down the iconic Earls Court exhibition centre in west London will gather pace next month with the appointment of Keltbray or McGee on the estimated £25m demolition job

The pair are expected to hear as soon as next week who has won the contract, and planning and enabling works could begin within six weeks of the appointment.

Plans to demolish the art deco venue were revealed last month when owner Capital & Counties (Capco) outlined its aim for a “large-scale redevelopment” of the 70-acre site built around 8,000 residential units.

Demolition of the main structure could begin in summer 2012 once the venue has played host to the Olympic volleyball competition.

A source close to the project said: “This is a complex job. Not only is the site huge, contractors also have the railway tunnels underneath tocontend with and the fact the visitor experience of the venue has to be unchanged until after the Olympics is over.”

Although plans to tear down the centre will not be formalised until a planning application is submitted, which Capco has said is about 12 months away, the source said the company was preparing for go-ahead.