Legal challenge hits NW Construction Hub

Public sector projects have been delayed after a legal challenge to the North West Construction Hub's medium value framework.

The challenge is understood to have come from a runner-up in one of the 12 lots covered by the framework over the scoring used to rank the winners and losers. The framework covers jobs from £2m to £9m in all areas of the North West, divided into separate lots. The delay is expected to last several weeks as the process is rectified. The provisional winners were notified before Christmas by letter from Manchester City Council, which manages the hub, but those offers have now been rescinded.

The last framework ran from 2010 to 2014 and involved 14 construction partners delivering £462m of projects. The notice for the new framework was advertised in November 2013 and was due to run from April 2014 to April 2018, with an estimated total programme budget of between £250m and £750m. The winners were due to be announced in January. The last day of the legal standstill period during which challenges can be made was 12 January and has now been extended indefinitely.

Clients commissioning projects on tight deadlines such as school extensions are now being forced to use alternative procurement systems to get back on track.

The hub also runs low value and high value frameworks. Seven high value framework partners were announced in August 2014 and the low value contractors are due to be announced in September 2015.

All parties declined to comment.

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