The 2012 Olympics could spark soaring prices for materials and labour in construction across the Midlands, an expert warned today.
Philip Black, property sector leader with EC Harris in Birmingham, said the Games were set to boost the sector nationally by more than £8 billion - but that could prove a double-edged sword.
He said the new work will boost many companies and provide employment for thousands but the overall effect would depend on supply-anddemand in the run-up to the event.
Mr Black - based at the property management specialists' office in Victoria Square - said the main problem was that it was difficult to predict the future workload in both private and public sectors. The commercial sector had been relatively buoyant and the Government had substantial spending commitments.
He said if those markets took off it could result in a "huge surge of construction work that would add to the skills shortage and cause prices for materials, labour and tenders to soar."
Mr Black said more than 5,000 workers would be needed on the Olympic contracts at the busiest times of construction.
That would have an impact on the Midlands and the rest of the UK - a lot of national companies would use their Midland outlets on the project.
The region celebrated the award of the Games to London as a potential multi-million pound bonanza.
Civic, business and sporting leaders have united to highlight the potential benefits from the decision to award the 30th Games to the capital.
Chief executive of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sue Battle said forecasts showed only just over 20 per cent of work for all of the infrastructure will be sourced in London and the South-east so there is a great opportunity for the city.
A spokesman for the Chamber said the Games could be worth hundreds of millions of pounds for the Midlands. Coun Mike Whitby (Con Harborne), leader of Birmingham Council, said the city had a successful history of hosting major sporting events - and that expertise would come into play when supporting London.
Construction services company AMEC - which employs 400 in the Midlands - is involved in project management of several regeneration and infrastructure projects in London and is looking forward to "to helping the city get ready for 2012".