Olympic cash keeps bust subbies trading on Village

Grant Prior 13 years ago

Olympic chiefs have admitted pumping money into suppliers struggling on the Athletes’ Village site to avoid disruption to tight construction schedules.

The Olympic Delivery Authority has spent £6m propping-up four subcontractors to keep them trading while they finish work.

And ODA chiefs are budgeting for that to rise to £11m.

The firms helped out financially include bathroom pod manufacturer EJ Badekabiner and precast panel provider Trent Concrete.

Badekabiner went into administration last October.

But the ODA used its own money to keep the company trading long enough to finish the contract.

After five weeks of continuing to trade courtesy of Olympic cash, the firm was bought from the administrators by Galliford Try.

Trent Concrete became the first major firm to go into administration on the Olympic site last September.

Trent had two large contracts for the production and fitting of concrete panels to two of the 11 tower blocks at the village.

The company’s joint receivers, Richard Philpott and Mark Orton, said in their report: “Given the bespoke nature of these contracts, a shutdown of the businesses would have resulted in difficulties for both of these customers.

“An agreement was reached to fund the ongoing trade thus facilitating completion of that particular contract.”

The receiver’s report showed there was a “contribution to costs” to Trent of £756,352 for two months of trading up until Nov 19, 2010.

Two other companies are being propped-up but the ODA has refused to name them.

ODA chief executive Dennis Hone said: “We had a fixed deadline and we had to deal with administrators to secure the production to keep the athletes’ village on track.”

Hone said the option to wind up the factory may have been more expensive in the long run than keeping the companies afloat to finish their Olympic contracts.

“But we have had to contribute to these companies,” he said.

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