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Contractors shying away from building Olympic stadium

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LACK OF interest in building the athletics stadium for the 2012 Olympics could drive up costs, industry experts warned this week.

They also fear that building the structure could damage the reputation of the eventual contractor, who will be subject to a level of scrutiny similar to that which Multiplex experienced over Wembley Stadium.

NCE understands that contractors Bovis and Multiplex have con rmed that they are not interested in building the 2012 stadium.

A senior Multiplex source told NCE that it would not be bidding because of the adverse publicity it had suffered on Wembley. 'I'm happy to advise the ODA, but one stadium is quite enough, ' said the source.

'You've got to ask yourself how advanced the stadium design is.

Before you know it, it will be 2007 - and it has to be ready for 2011.' Design was not complete when the Wembley project was let under a Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) contract. This uncertainty led to cost overruns, which contractor Multiplex had to bear.

The source said that lessons could be learned from the relative success experienced by Sir Robert McAlpine on Arsenal FC's Emirates stadium.

'McAlpine was on a two-stage design-and-build contract on Emirates [allowing it to assess that the design had been fully developed before it embarked on the main contract].' ndustry body the Major Contractors Group said that many contractors also feared that best practice would be compromised in favour of the lowest price to meet the needs of the public purse. This would be coupled with a tight construction programme.

The Olympic Stadium contract will be based on the NEC3 form of contract.

NEC Group chairman Rudy Klein said that the failings of the JCT could be ironed out if an unammended NEC contract was adopted.

But an Olympic Delivery Authority spokeswomen said the NEC would be amended to suit each project. It is 'not a one size ts all' situation, she added.

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