Half-finished hospitals still lie idle after Carillion fall
EIGHT months after Carillion collapsed into liquidation work on a number of the contractor’s high-profile projects – including two major hospital buildings – is yet to restart.
Construction workers downed tools on the Midland Metropolitan Hospital near Birmingham and the Royal Liverpool Hospital but despite Carillion’s involvement in the projects ceasing in January, work remains idle.
Although the Government’s Insolvency Service confirmed last week that it had handed over all 278 of Carillion’s UK contracts to new suppliers, projects are still being delayed while contracts are being wrangled over.
In the Midlands, the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust has published a tender for a contractor to undertake work to protect the site from the elements until a new company to finish the building work can be found, but even the interim work will not begin until the middle of next month, the document suggests.
Toby Lewis, chief executive of the trust, has warned that it is now likely to be delayed for a further four years. In a report sent to the local council, he said that a failure to transfer ex-carillion workers to another provider made “an opening date for the new build of 2022 the most likely scenario”.
Local MP John Spellar has repeatedly called for the Government to step in and secure the future of the hospital, accusing ministers of “dithering” about the project.
Work on the Liverpool hospital project has also yet to recommence after being halted in January. The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust is understood to be in talks with construction firm Laing O’rourke to take over the project, but a deal has not yet been signed. Even when work does begin, it is thought that it will be at least 12 months until the building is opened to the public.
The two projects were cited as central contributing factors in Carillion’s collapse, as spiralling costs and construction problems pushed its bills up and forced it into the red.
Meanwhile, six schools in Ireland are facing an anxious wait to see if new classrooms will be open for the beginning of term after wrangling over payment to sub-contractors continued to delay building work.