I am increasingly settling into my middle years it is true, so that could be an excuse, but I am increasingly confused by the bidding process for the Olympic Village and the rest of the Olympic Park.
To the point that once again it seems that the initial feeling that one party should have been responsible for both auctions was the right one.
There was a good story in the Financial Times yesterday where a “government insider” suggests that all sorts of wheels within wheels are currently revolving.
As reported by many, the Wellcome Trust’s all-or-nothing bid for the village and the park is apparently withering rapidly on the vine because the Olympic Delivery Authority is backing Delancey-Qatari Diar’s separate bid for the village alone.
But, quite spookily, a senior government insider is quoted as suggesting that somehow Delancey-Qatari Diar or the Wellcome Trust might be persuaded to take on the rest of the Park at a later date, despite neither of them wanting that solution at present.
Here is the quote: “[One option] … is to work through the Wellcome Trust proposal while at the same time, if you think you have a really good deal on the village, you conclude that deal. And then possibly at some stage in the future, [you] will be open to that bidder or any others to put in a proposal for the remainder of the park…”
It is clever stuff, but I cannot help but think such cleverness would have been unnecessary if the OPLC had been given the job of selling both the village and the park.
On to the media centre and the OPLC is clearly cock-a-hoop that so much interest is unfolding in the 1m sq ft of broadcast and office space.
In a separate interview with the lucky old FT Baroness Ford is more upbeat than I have heard her before about the media centre.
She says: “I am much more heartened than I was nine months ago. I thought this was going to be a really, really tough sell. We’ve actually got some serious respectable interest [in the broadcast and media centre], so I’m quite encouraged by that.”
The reason for this is pointed to in this column in The Standard.
Aside from interest from Wellcome Trust for a science park, Resolution for a fashion hub and Acer Snowmec for a snowdome, as with The Standard I have heard that a major broadcaster is keen on the space.
The Standard plumps for ITV – not a bad shout. But the BBC was definitely interested in it years ago, despite being wedded to Salford, and ITN and BskyB both need to find a new home some time. Why not bring them all together in one happy home?