Lime Street Gateway contractor cast in doubt

The building contractor on the Lime Street Gateway project in Liverpool city centre may be changed after developer Iliad launched a review of the contract package.

Laing O'Rourke was appointed preferred contractor after a tender process in March this year.

However, escalating costs due to material and labour inflation during the legal battle to gain vacant possession from a handful of shop owners on the site have led to a rethink.

Laings are still bidding for the job, next to Lime Street railway station, with Shepherd Construction also now said to be in the running.

Iliad declined to comment on the re-tender and it is not known when the developer plans to start on site.

The scheme received planning permission in autumn 2005. It is being supervised by urban regeneration company Liverpool Vision and government agency English Partnerships, together with Network Rail, Liverpool City Council and Merseytravel.

The public agencies are paying for the streetscape improvements while Iliad will fund the new 28-storey tower.

The current Concourse House retail units were subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order and public inquiry which found in favour of Iliad and its partners. These shops and the tired-looking tower block above will be removed to reveal the station's stone arched gable-end, and allow the creation of a new public space at the front of Lime Street Station.

The lower floors of the tower will contain cafes or restaurants, with offices and residential accommodation on the upper floors.

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