Town Hall Entrance

Lendlease and Laing O’Rourke join race for Manchester Town Hall

Charlie Schouten

Lendlease and Laing O’Rourke have emerged as two of the main contenders to land a £190m management contract for the restoration of Manchester Town Hall.

Place North West understands the two contractors are among the first to express a firm interest in the project following a launch event held at the end of February.

Other contractors, including Graham, had also been involved at the early stages, assisting with the scope of works and procurement, but it is understood Graham has decided not to bid for the project.

Wates was also present at the launch event, which outlined how the multi-million-pound project could be delivered, but the company is not believed to be bidding at this stage.

Manchester City Council launched the procurement of a management contractor for the project in February this year, and estimates the deal will be worth between £150m and £190m. Overall, the project is expected to cost £330m.

The successful contractor will be responsible for overseeing works packages on the project, some of which could be worth up to £40m. The council said there could be more than 100 individual works packages to procure for the project, with a typical range of between £100,000 and £10m.

The management contractor’s deal is expected to last for 53 months to incorporate handover and aftercare periods, and the council is expected to whittle down the shortlist to five companies before awarding the contract later this year.

Tenders will have a weighting of 20% towards social value, 10% on price, and the remainder on quality.

The target date to have the building fully refurbished and occupied is 2024. The main town hall has already been vacated, with most council services relocating to the town hall extension, although some have moved elsewhere in the city, including the coroner’s court, which will move to the Royal Exchange later this year.

The team already in place on the wider project, which is expected to take six years at a cost of £330m, includes Mace as project manager; Ramboll as structural engineer; Purcell as architect; Planit IE as landscape architect; building services engineer Arup; and Faithful + Gould as quantity surveyor.

Designs are currently at RIBA stage two, with the project team’s co-located office already up and running. The council also appointed Paul Candelent, formerly regional director for the North and Midlands at Capita, as its project director for the scheme in March last year.

Laing O’Rourke and Lendlease both declined to comment. Manchester City Council was approached for comment.

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Lend Lease have no staff in the NW they were all laid off when the Aussies took over. This town hall project should be for a Manchester company!

By Your a number

Lend Lease are bringing lots of people in to Manchester at the moment – St Johns / Potato Wharf / Town Hall / Mayfield – plenty to go at!

By Bob

Exactly they don’t have local people they have to recruit new people in a busy market. Projects staffed with agency cover and the quality goes down. I would beware if I was a Client look at defects at Bridgwater Leeds, Civil Justice Centre, Manchester Hospitals and Media City. They are not the Bovis of old with a loyal local workforce. Don’t believe the glossy brochure they don’t have many people who are decent anymore.

By Your a number

Lendlease have taken one step backwards when asked to ‘do the right thing’ in respect of replacing flammable cladding at Vallea Court and Cypress Place, so why on earth would Manchester want to entertain any involvement with them in the future? They can’t be trusted.

By Mark