Royal Liverpool abandons cladding tender

The search for a contractor to remediate faulty cladding at the hospital has been called off in favour of handing the job to the original manufacturer, Martifer. 

Portugal-based Martifer is going to strip off the faulty material and “rectify the issues identified with the original installation”, a spokesperson from the Liverpool University Hospitals Trust said. 

The NHS trust launched a tender, valued at between £10m and £20m, earlier this year but is no longer seeking a specialist contractor to remove the cladding installed by collapsed contractor Carillion. 

The work was expected to take 20 months to complete.

Engineering firm Arup, which conducted a structural review of the building in 2018, reported that September that some parts of the cladding used in early phases of the scheme failed to meet UK fire safety regulations, which have been revised following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. 

Laing O’Rourke took over the wider Royal Liverpool project, to extend and improve the existing hospital, in 2018 after Carillion went into administration. The scheme, which includes the creation of one of the largest emergency departments in the North West of England, began in February 2014 and was set to complete by 2017. 

However, work stalled due to several issues including cracked concrete beams and asbestos in the ground.  

Further delays arose as a result of the collapse of  Carillion in 2018, and the project is now not expected to finish until 2022 at the earliest. 

Initially, the hospital had a budget of £335m for the redevelopment but it is now expected to cost at least £724m, according to the report from the National Audit Office.

A spokesperson for Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Following a thorough assessment of the cladding of the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, additional work on a section of the cladding is being undertaken by the original supplier, Martifer. A procurement process to replace this section of cladding has therefore now been terminated.”

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