Lendlease awarded £330m contract for Manchester Town Hall revamp

Lendlease has fought competition from rival Laing O’Rourke and landed the much sought after £330m contract to carry out the restoration on Manchester Town Hall and Albert Square.

The construction contract to refurbish the Town Hall is thought to be worth between £160-£190m and will see the grade one-listed building fully restored along with extensive, improved public realm around Albert Square. The the firm responsible for managing the project and procuring around 80 subcontracts ranging from  £10,000 – £40m.

As part of this deal, Lendlease has committed to provide 150 apprenticeships and 45 new jobs for Manchester residents with the target date for completion in 2024. 

Commenting on the appointment, Nigel Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “This appointment is an important milestone in the Our Town Hall project to improve access to this icon of Manchester and safeguard it for current and future generations. There aren’t many construction firms with the expertise and resources required to deliver a heritage project of this scale and complexity on behalf of the city and after a rigorous selection process we are confident that Lendlease offered the best overall value.”

The target date for completion is 2024 with the main area already vacated allowing for work to start. Council services have relocated to the town hall extension or elsewhere in the city such as the coroner’s court which has moved to the Royal Exchange.

Neil Martin, managing director of construction at Lendlease, Europe, added: “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.”

Lendlease’s appointment has not been short of controversary with opposition councillors arguing the firm should have never been awarded the contract afte becoming embroiled in a cladding row.

Liberal Democrat councillors say residents in Manchester are being asked to cough up £3m by the building's new freeholders - Pemberstone - to replace unsafe cladding Lendlease used in two tower blocks within Manchester’s Green Quarter.

Manchester Liberal Democrat leader, John Leech, added: "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.”

Responding, a spokesperson for Lendlease said: “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.” 

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