Lendlease has beaten rival Laing O’Rourke for the £330m contract to refurbish the Manchester Town Hall despite also being embroiled in a Grenfell-style cladding row
The construction contract to refurbish the Town Hall is thought to be worth around £190m and will see the grade one-listed building fully restored along with extensive, improved public realm.
Works will include restoring the Great Hall and its Ford Madox Brown murals, along with external repairs to the roof, stonework and drains.
The council said ‘significant work’ is needed to address the electrics, heating, ventilation and lifts in the Manchester Town Hall building.
Neil Martin, Managing Director of Construction at Lendlease, Europe, said: “Manchester Town Hall is one of the city’s most recognisable and well-loved landmarks.
“Lendlease has a long track record of working with heritage buildings and enhancing them for contemporary use and we will bring all of this experience to bear at Manchester Town Hall.”
The news comes despite the official opposition on Manchester Council denouncing Lendlease and arguing that the firm should never be awarded a council contract again.
Manchester Liberal Democrat Leader, John Leech, said: “The fact we even considered awarding a contract worth more than a quarter of a billion pounds to a firm that has treated Manchester residents so appallingly shows just what little regard this council has for local people.
“When it was revealed that Lendlease was in the running for this contract, the Lib Dems demanded the firm not be awarded any further contracts until they resolved the previous issues that were hitting local people here in Manchester.
“But now that Lendlease has been given this huge contract regardless of how badly they have treated local people, Manchester Council must insist that they pay the £3m Green Quarter cladding bill that is crippling local people and end this disgraceful saga once and for all.
”We should, and must, be demanding much higher standards than this for Manchester residents.”
In October 2018, the Liberal Democrats revealed that Lendlease was one of two major companies set to profit from a mega £330m contract to renovate Manchester Town Hall despite being responsible for a bitter Grenfell-style cladding row in the city.
Vallea Court and Cypress Place in Manchester’s Green Quarter failed fire safety checks in July 2017 and were found to have cladding similar to Grenfell Tower.
The buildings, which include 345 flats, were developed by Lendlease and then sold as freehold to investment firm Pemberstone in 2015.
Documents from Lendlease to flat owners at the time of purchase read: “Lendlease will undertake, at our expense, to complete any accepted defect that has arisen as a result of either faulty materials or defective workmanship.”
However, a spokesperson for Lendlease says: “Shepherd’s Construction, were responsible for the design and build of Vallea Court and Cyprus Place, and the current owner of the building is Pemberstone Ltd.”