Eric Wright has been named as the new contractor for the delayed £4.5m Blackburn bus station, following the termination of Thomas Barnes & Sons’ construction contract earlier this month.
The 11,800 sq ft facility, designed by Capita, is being built on part of the old market site on Ainsworth Street and once completed contain 14 bus stands and three layover facilities.
Barnes started on site at the project last May with a £1.5m 40-week contract. Blackburn with Darwen Council announced earlier this month that it had ended Tomas Barnes’ contract in order to “ensure that the bus station progresses alongside the other major schemes in the Town Centre including the Cathedral Quarter”.
According to a statement at the time from Thomas Barnes, director of Thomas Barnes & Sons, the contractor had expressed concerns over the structural integrity of Capita’s designs during the construction process.
Funds for Blackburn bus station are from the £40m Pennine Reach programme, which is aimed at improving public transport between Blackburn and Accrington.
Eric Wright is the sister-company of Maple Grove Developments, the council’s joint venture partner for the delivery of the £25m mixed-use Cathedral Quarter which fronts the bus interchange and Blackburn railway station in the town centre.
Eric Wright is the contractor at the Cathedral Quarter and also recently completed the £13.5m redevelopment of Blackburn College.
Cllr Phil Riley, executive member for regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Eric Wright are keen to get on site as soon as possible to complete the construction and will be working closely with Capita. It is now the plan to complete the bus station in line with the neighbouring Cathedral Quarter development.”
A Capita spokesman said: “We are pleased that Eric Wright has been appointed as the new contractor for the bus station. We look forward to working with them as they build our designs for a first class bus station for the people of Blackburn.”