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The Wembley factor

WEMBLEY

BEING JUST about the only landmark project around has its advantages in an age where skilled workers are becoming rarer than hens' teeth.

'Building Wembley closer to the millennium would have been extremely challenging, ' says Multiplex managing director Paul Gandy. 'Now there is no shortage of interest from contractors.'

That is putting it mildly. The Wembley factor is probably the single greatest incentive for each and every one of the subcontractors on the scheme. But the commitment made by the firms should not be underestimated.

'There are not many contractors who could have done any of the major packages. It was easy to see who were the most enthusiastic, ' says Mr Gandy.

The subcontracted packages represent some of the largest ever contracts for the firms involved, with the exception of the m&e work brought inhouse under the auspices of former Drake & Scull staff and split into 20-odd separate packages.

For each subcontractor, working on Wembley has meant showing exceptional commitment months, if not years, ahead on a project that many must have thought would never get the go-ahead.

In return they have been offered a place on one of the most high-profile jobs in recent years.

'This is a bit like the Dome - a lot of the workforce wanted to be part of the team that built that, ' says PJ Harrington of concrete contractor PC Harrington. 'Terminal 5 is not unique, but this will never happen again.'