Morgan Sindall/Hochtief £187m Wigan scheme gets go-ahead

Rachael Tinniswood

Plans for Morgan Sindall Investments and Hochtief PPP Solutions UK's leisure and public services joint venture in Wigan have finally been agreed.

Financial close has been reached on the £187m contract for The Access Consortium to deliver a PFI scheme for Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council.

The public service hub, called the Wigan Life Centre, will be built on and around the site of the former Wigan International Pool.

The centre will comprise of a leisure, health, learning and information complex which will also include a one-stop shop for public services, a new 25m swimming pool and a central library.

Morgan Sindall's construction business, Morgan Ashurst, will design and construct the facilities. Its sister business, Morgan Professional Services, will provide civil, structural and electrical engineering design.

Work is due to start on the centre this week, with completion due in December 2011.

Wigan Council had to compete against more than 100 other councils for the £77m of Private Finance Initiative credits which will fund the project.

The initial building and running costs will initially be paid for by the private sector, which will then be repaid over 25 years using the government credit.

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