AS LONDON’S Olympic facilities near completion, a Fleetwood man has played his part in the billion-pound project.
Robert Thompson, 53, is a quantity surveyor who has worked all over the world on ambitious building projects, in countries such as Bahrain, Dubai and Poland.
But his favourite project so far is the one he is currently involved in – the British Olympic works at Stratford, East London.
Robert, who lives in the Larkholme area of Fleetwood but currently spends much of his time in the capital, and is responsible for the procurement of work, accounting for costs and authorising payment to contractors for their work.
It has been a massive job over the past five years culminating in the Great Britain Olympics in 2012.
Part of the challenge has been to clear and detoxify a huge site which has been a massive industrial wasteland for years, including scrap yards with rusting cars and a former Victorian gasworks – a Second World War bomb was even found on the site.
By the time the work is finished there will be an Olympic football stadium, complete with athletics tracks, an aquatics centre for water sports, a state-of-the art velopark for cycling;, and a basketball arena.
Robert said: “Working on the site is like passing through an airport terminal every day; security is very tight.
“I am involved in the demolition and remediation works, a fancy name for clearing up the mess that has been made by previous generations.
“Two and a half million tonnes of earth have been excavated and cleaned and most of it can be re-used.”
Robert feels that so many people have moved out of construction in Britain, because of the current and previous recessions, that vital skills has been lost.
The building project in Stratford has therefore relied on skills from the outside the UK.
He has come a long way since the days when he began his career at Blackpool Technical College back in the 1970s.
Robert, who is single, is a member of the Fleetwood Lodge of Freemasons.