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Beijing Olympic win triggers 4bn work bonanza

NEWS

MORE THAN £4bn will be spent on building sports facilities and infrastructure projects for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, creating opportunities for UK firms in specialist design and project management.

Spending plans unveiled by the Chinese authorities this week included £1.25bn on construction of the Olympic village, 22 sports venues and upgrading of 13 sporting facilities. China expects to spend £2.3bn on road construction and quadrupling capacity of the metro network and £250M on communications.

Early openings for non-Chinese firms will be in the delivery of specialist design services, said Edmund Leung, chairman of consultant Hyder's Hong Kong office. As construction deadlines approach, foreign firms can expect to win contracts for specialist building services and project management, he said.

US architectural practice RTKL has already prepared the Olympics site master plan that includes the main 80,000-seat arena and a 510m high sky scraper in joint venture with the Beijing Design Institute. Venues around the 290ha site will be connected by walkways.

Preparations for the games will involve moving heavy industry away from Beijing city centre and cutting air and water pollution. The Chinese government also plans to transport water via a major new pipeline from the River Yangtse in southern China to Beijing to deal with water shortages .

The British Consultants Bureau will meet officials from the embassy in Beijing in September to discuss prospects for UK firms and is expecting to lead a trade mission early next year, said chief executive Colin Adams.

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