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UK Contractors Could Win Major Projects around the Globe

Prompt and successful completion of the building construction work for the Olympic Games in London this summer could be a chance for UK firms to get work all over the world – a leading publication in the trades, Construction Enquirer, reported today.

One of the UK’s leading International Consultants, McBains Cooper, has urged the Government’s trade teams to introduce more building contracts from abroad for the building construction industry in Britain.

McBains Cooper state that London 2012 is an excellent example of how a major project should be built and UK firms should use their management expertise to export their skills and knowledge to make major projects worldwide equally as impressive.

The successful construction of the Olympic venues triggers a world-wide interest for many countries which will host similar events in the future. The building of venues for the Olympics in London 2012 will give UK firms the unique opportunity to showcase their expertise and professionalism to potentially participate in big projects around the world.

An increasing number of building companies across the UK are considering applications for construction work ahead of major events in Qatar, Brazil and Russia. McBains Cooper, which has an alliance in Brazil for the venue of the 2016 games, expressed its determination to negotiate with all regions that are candidates for the 2020 games to secure future contracts.

Chief executive at McBains Cooper, Michael Thirkettle, said: “Everybody involved in construction, whether in Brazil or the 2020 candidate venues, has commented on the success of the planning and construction of everything London games-related. More often than not it’s accompanied by some positive reference to the UK construction industry, and its professional advisers and consultancies being the best in the world.

“The fact is that in comparison to any other recent major sporting event – and some recent Olympics – London 2012 construction has run far faster and more efficiently. That has been noted by other countries, and, frankly, because of our reputation, British construction and professional consultancy businesses are amongst the very few who can travel the world to help drive and deliver major projects for other venue cities.”

Mr Thirkettle thinks that every business in the UK has the unique opportunity to promote itself and bring more investment from abroad.

He said: “The Olympics is a fantastic global shop window for British management expertise, design and construction skills, and that expertise can be exported to make other games equally impressive.”


Do you see the successful construction work of the Olympic venues as an opportunity for your business to win more contracts in future? Tell us how optimistic are you about exporting your business abroad?



Train4TradeSkills News: For Sale: One Olympic Stadium

Three football clubs, One Olympic Stadium. Lots of bickering and legal battles.

The battle for the Olympic Stadium has ended after Olympic chiefs decided that no football club gets to own the stadium.

West Ham were supposed to be taking over the Olympic Stadium after the Olympics next summer, but the constant legal challenges from Tottenham and Leyton Orient has put pay to that and the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) has made a decision and ruled that no one gets it and the stadium will remain in public ownership.

£50 million worth of cash has been put aside to convert the stadium after the 2012 Games and instead of selling it to a football team, the stadium will be leased to a new tenant for an annual rent.

West Ham are understandably surprised and disappointed with the decision and have confirmed they will be bidding for the stadium.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said in a statement:

“Uncertainty caused by the anonymous complaint to the European Commission and ongoing legal challenges have put the Olympic legacy at risk and certainly a stadium, as we envisioned it, may not be in place by 2014 due as a direct result of the legal delay.

“Therefore we would welcome a move by OPLC and government to end that uncertainty and allow a football and athletics stadium to be in place by 2014 under a new process.

“The true legacy of London 2012 will be the creation of jobs and a generation of young people inspired by sport based around a community home for all by 2014. We remain committed to help deliver that legacy promise to the people of London and the nation.”

So it seems like none of the football teams have got their way, but what do you think about this? Let us know and comment below or join in the debate on our Facebook page.


Train4TradeSkills News: What does the future hold for Olympic Park post-2012?

Plans submitted to transform the Olympic Park when the 2012 Olympic Games in London finishes.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company has submitted proposals to transform the Olympic Park when the Olympic Games in London finishes next year.

The 5,000 page planning application documents the plans detailing how the Olympic Park could look after the 2012 Games. The plans include transforming the Olympic Park and the Athletes Village into 8,000 new homes.

The plans include building these new homes in five new neighbourhoods on the site, each with a host of community facilities, shops, schools and parks.

Andrew Altman, the chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said in a statement:

“As one of the most important housing developments in London’s history, these five neighbourhoods will stitch together the surrounding communities of a formerly isolated area through new homes, schools, shops, parks, infrastructure and jobs.”

The future of the Olympic Stadium has already been dealt with, with West Ham set to move in after the Olympics, and this project would also be a welcome boost for the construction industry.

The Olympics has already created in excess of 12,000 construction jobs and the fact that 8,000 new homes could be built if the plans are approved will only add to that number, which can only be a good thing.

What do you think should be done to the Olympic Park post-2012? Let us know what you think and comment below:


Boris Johnson plans Olympic Legacy with new homes

The 2012 Olympic Games in London is only 17 months away and decisions are being made surrounding the legacy of the Games, when the tourists disappear and all the furore and commotion in the area has died down.

With the Olympic Stadium issue sorted and West Ham the new owners, The Mayor of London Boris Johnson is looking for developers to deliver 800 new homes on the Olympic Park after the 2012 Games have finished, for the first phase.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company want the area to become a hotbed for families. A total of 8,000 homes will be built across the whole park, 35% of which will be affordable housing.

The plans also include building community buildings, nurseries, a community centre and a new school on the five neighbourhoods.

Four of the areas will be on the north-west of the Olympic Park, whereas the fifth area will be on the north-east, between the velodrome and the Athletes Village.

The work is expected to begin in 2013 and will add to the number of construction jobs that have already been created as a result of the Olympic Games in London.

What do you think about Boris Johnson’s and the OPLC’s post-Olympics legacy? Let us know at all the usual places, on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.

We break down West Ham’s Olympic Stadium victory and what it means for the construction industry

After a long, drawn-out and frankly, bitter saga, West Ham have been awarded the keys to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Olympic Games.

West Ham triumphed over rival Tottenham Hotspur’s bid after the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) unanimously voted in favour of the Hammers bid.

Baroness Ford, head of the OPLC, said: “We have made a unanimous recommendation to back West Ham and the borough of Newham as the long term tenant.

This announcement wasn’t exactly a shock, as BBC London revealed on Wednesday that the Olympic bosses were going to back West Ham’s bid.

The major difference between the two bids were that West Ham will keep the running track and preserve the Olympic legacy, according to the organisers. Tottenham wanted to demolish the stadium, with the running track, and rebuild it.

From an Olympic standpoint, the decision is the right one. The running track will preserve the legacy and ensure that a stadium that cost £537 million. Seeing as the Olympic Stadium is in east London, West Ham are on their doorstep and the biggest club within the vicinity.

From a commercial standpoint though, Spurs’ bid was the clear choice. Tottenham released their designs for the Olympic Stadium this week, in the hope that this could sway the OPLC, which obviously didn’t work.

Spurs have the lure of Champions League football, which they on course for this season, and could have filled the Olympic Stadium week-in, week-out. West Ham may be able to make the Olympic Stadium a success, but it is crucial that they remain in the Premiership.

Baroness Ford (r) says decision was unanimous

West Ham are currently bottom of the Premiership with 12 games left to play, and are embroiled in a relegation battle with the likes of Wolves, Wigan, Birmingham and Blackpool. If they can guarantee Premiership survival, then the choice is a good one; if they cannot, then it will become a very expensive running track.

From a construction perspective, Tottenham’s bid would have created more construction jobs as the stadium would have to be demolished and then rebuilt. More work will have to be done on the Olympic Stadium after the Games, so the project will still create new jobs.

You can see the BBC’s video report on West Ham’s victory here

What do you think of the decision on the future for the Olympic Stadium? Do you agree with it? Join in the debate on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.

Sparks fly as Spurs and West Ham lock horns over Olympic Stadium

The battle for the future of the Olympic Stadium is starting to get ugly. On one side you have Tottenham, who are the sensible choice but hated by the organising committee, and West Ham, who are the organisers’ preferred choice, but there are doubts whether the club can fill the stadium.

The Guardian reports that Spurs have now unveiled new plans for the Olympic Stadium, and are prepared to spend £25,000 on refurbishing the athletics facilities at Crystal Palace to compensate for the track that they would rip out if they were given the keys to the Olympic Stadium.

Tottenham wish to convert the 80,000-seater arena into a 60,000-seater stadium designed purely for football, which would save them an approximated £200 million compared to building a brand new stadium.. Spurs would then refurbish Crystal Palace and create an athletics “legacy fund”, which has been slammed by UK Athletics chief Ed Warner, who has labelled their plans as “woefully inadequate.”

West Ham plan to also decrease the stadium to 60,000 seats, but intend to keep the running track and allow athletics and cricket to be played at the stadium in the summer when the football season has finished. The Hammers would still have to spend an estimated £100 million on adding facilities like toilets and hospitality suites in the stadium.

The main issue between the two bids is the running track. UK Athletics want the track to remain, whereas Spurs’ architects KSS believe it will damage the experience for fans, as they would be too far away from the pitch. KSS chairman David Keirle says:

“It’s a sophisticated Meccano set. It does what it’s meant to do – provides a great experience for athletics. But football is different. Our whole design is based on bringing fans closer to the pitch.”

The main issue with West Ham’s bid is whether they would be able to fill the Olympic Stadium week-in, week-out, particularly as they are struggling and are currently bottom of the Premiership. They would not be able to fill a 60,000-seater stadium in the Championship. Whereas Spurs are in fourth place and have the lure of Champions League football at the moment. The only thing about their bid is that they are traditionally based in North London, and would have to shift the whole club (and the fans) over to East London, where the Olympic Stadium is situated.

The positive thing about both bids is that they will create construction jobs for plumbers, electricians and gas engineers, as new facilities will have to be installed and wired in the stadium. The decision as to whoever gets the stadium is expected in March, where the government, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Olympic Park Legacy Company will make the decision.

What do you think about the Olympic Stadium debate – which club would make the most sense? Comment in the box below or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook or Twitter page.