It was with some relief that I read that the Olympic Delivery Authority has selected the Emirates team as preferred bidder for the 2012 stadium (NCE last week). We now have a team in place with a proven track record and the design and procurement process can be accelerated.
Given that recent experiences on the Millennium Stadium and Wembley have resulted in high-profile failures, we appear to be in the fortunate position whereby our Olympic stadium will be procured by a team properly equipped to deliver and who will start a challenging project without one hand tied behind their back.
It is unfortunate that other bidders have had to go through the prequalification stage to no avail, but at least they have been spared the extra expense of failing after the shortlist stage. It is a pity that we cannot find a way through EU procurement rules to allow for the strength of existing relationships to hold more weight The challenge now is for the strategic relationship management team to repay the confidence shown in it and reward London 2012 with a first-class venue constructed on time, on budget and without bad publicity.
This project must be a showcase for our industry to help restore public confidence in what we are all collectively able to achieve given the right conditions.
Tony Bailey (M), director, Edge Structures, 10 Lindsey Street, London EC1A 9HP