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SMC's links to Laing O'Rourke could be a way in to the Olympics

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SMC Group's five-year architectural framework deal with Laing O'Rourke, agreed earlier this month, could result in the UK's biggest architecture firm becoming involved in the 2012 Olympics

A source close to the deal said the partnership could see SMC getting its foot in the Olympic door, since Laing O'Rourke is one of three partners in the CLM delivery partnership for the Games.

Under the framework deal, it seems likely that Laing O'Rourke will pass any design work it gets to the architectural behemoth.

The news swiftly follows the announcement in last week's Construction News that Laing O'Rourke could be handling more of the Olympics construction work than previously thought.

The source said: 'The deal is massive news for SMC, and it could even make it easier for them to get involved in the Olympics.

'It doesn't take a genius to figure it out - the deal starts from March this year and continues until March 2012, just a few months before the Games start.'

A Laing O'Rourke spokesman, however, was quick to quash any rumours that the deal could see SMC gain Olympics work.

The spokesman said: 'The ODA take care of all the procurement, and it is a very tight ship that they run, so I think it very unlikely that this deal could see Olympics work go toward SMC.'

He added: 'The deal forms part of our Building Constructive Relationships programme, and SMC were seen as ideal consultants to work with.'

Laing O'Rourke spends around £75 million annually on consultant's fees, and about 60 per cent of this is allocated to architecture. SMC is hoping some of this cash will make big inroads into its projected £52 million profit targets for next year.

by Richard Vaughan

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