Future of Olympic Venues announced – a procurement success

Good news this morning with a procurement angle - the London Olympic Park Legacy Company has concluded key procurement exercises by appointing operators for the Aquatics Centre, Multi-Use Arena and ArcelorMittal Orbit (the "interesting" statue that is going to become a sort of non-moving London Eye type attraction).

I know it has been a challenging procurement at times, and very high profile, particularly after all the fuss around West Ham and Spurs falling out over the contract for use of the stadium. But these new contracts show a big focus on employment, training and sporting opportunities as well as addressing the affordability issues. At first sight certainly it looks like a good result and a noteable achievement for the team involved.

Following the competition, Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) will operate the Aquatics Centre and the Multi-Use Arena, and Balfour Beatty WorkPlace will run the ArcelorMittal Orbit and manage the maintenance of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  As the press release goes on to say;

"The contracts include:

  • 254 full time jobs
  • 86 apprenticeship places every year
  • That on average, 75% of jobs from the two contracts will go to local people in the Host Boroughs
  • A strong focus on small and medium sized enterprises benefitting from supply chain opportunities
  • The price of swimming at the Aquatics Centre or hiring a court at the Arena will be the same as the average local pool or sports centre".

There's still more to be done on the Legacy front. The Press and Broadcast centre have according to reports proved the most difficult in terms of future use, but it looks like London is on course to secure the future of every permanent venue before the Games have even started – a first for any Olympic City apparently.

And as an added bonus for the Government, GLL is a charitable Social Enterprise - just the sort of organisation Ministers want to see playing a larger role in delivery of public services. This is perhaps the highest profile contract win for an organisation of that type since the 2010 election.

So well done to the winning bidders and to the team involved in running the procurement exercise, and we hope to come back to this topic at a later date.

Voices (2)

  1. Dr Gordy:

    Do you know how do the contract sums reflect the original estaimates?

    1. Peter Smith:

      I don’t know whether there were estimates done way back in the olmypic bidding process but my sources suggest these deals have come in with better VFM than was assumed in the current budgets. Of course, operating the sports centres may be anything from the operator paying a fee through to a hefty public subsidy (which I know many local sports centres receive from their local councils). We may have to do an FOI to get the full picture!

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