Hilton Up

Beetham Tower ‘in disrepair’

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

A High Court judgment has ruled that the fund which owns Beetham Tower needs to carry out urgent work to replace sealant around a number of the 47-storey building’s glass panels, and pay costs and damages to leaseholder the Hilton Hotel.

Blue Manchester, trading as Hilton Manchester Deansgate, brought the claim against North West Ground Rents, a fund owned by Ground Rents Income Fund and managed by Brooks Macdonald.

The claim relates to the failure of sealant around some of the 1,350 shadow box units which form part of the tower’s façade, and a question of whether remediation work has kept the building in good repair.

Hoardings Save

Hoardings have been in place near to the Hilton entrance for more than two years

In a statement to the stock market, Ground Rents Income Fund revealed that the court had found in favour of the Hilton, and ruled “the building is in disrepair”.

The sealant issue on Beetham Tower has been known for some time. Contractor Carillion and façade contractor Bug completed urgent safety work on the panels in 2014, and Carillion was in the process of an investigation and assessment for further work when the contractor went into administration at the start of last year.

The High Court has ruled that a permanent solution needs to be found within 18 months. The fund was ordered to pay the Hilton £250,000 in costs, with the final amount to be determined at a later date.

In addition, the Hilton is entitled to damages for the 31 months while hoardings have been in place in connection with the façade investigation. The court ruled that hoardings should be removed within one month.

The Hilton is also entitled to further damages due to dirty water being released into the water supply “due to lack of maintenance”, and the Hilton is to be paid two-thirds of its costs for bringing an injunction over the water supply issues. Costs will be decided at a later date.

In its annual report at the end of 2018, North West Ground Rents predicted that it did not have liability over the façade issue, and no irrecoverable losses were likely to arise. However, it did write down the building’s value “to reflect the influence of the legal action and uncertainty of its outcome”.

North West Ground Rent said that it now may pursue proceedings issued against the insurers of Carillion, now bust, and the sub-contractor. The Hilton has also started action against Carillion’s insurers and subcontractor.

According to the fund, the trial was limited to the issue of who was responsible for carrying out remediation works, but not quantifying the costs of the work. The fund said it was “seeking advice on the nature of the remedial works required to comply with the judgment and their associated cost”.

Beetham Tower was designed by architect SimpsonHaugh, and was completed in 2006.

Brooks Macdonald has been approached for comment. SimpsonHaugh declined to comment.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

This is an example of so much that is wrong with the UK’s culture of construction, liability and the standards of maintenance in order to maximise dividends for shareholders. “British businesses risks eating themselves” as on Bank of England commissioner once described… fitting. Not sustainable and improvident.

By Keith

So could they drop off? Like happened with I think the Co op building in Manchester

By Bob Dawson

It’s an absolute dump when you get close up; one side unfinished, failed cladding, cracked uneven paving, hoarding around the front, there is a glass floor in Cloud 23 that is so scratched you can’t see out of it, it howls in the wind… I could go on.

Ridiculous that is is only 12 years old and is so prominent in the city!! I think we are in for decades of re-cladding on all these new thrown-up towers.

It’s good to know what the hoarding is there for and that it will be going soon at least.

By Amen.

Knock it down, terrible view from there.

By Sammy C. Gull

Knock it down, it’s an absolute eyesore. Only Manchester could do something like this

By Ghun

This is what becomes of paying more attention at trying to be the number one city . You forget the basics.

By Liver Guy

If going after the subcontractor, Surely the subcontract collateral warranty will have expired: assuming signed as a deed?

By Anonandon

Knock it down & start again it’s such an eyesore!

By DxH