Last week (13 March ) the council was made aware that the main contractor at Peach Place, Dawnus Construction Limited, had gone into Administration.
Cllr Philip Mirfin, executive member for regeneration, said: “We were incredibly disappointed to hear the news about Dawnus and feel greatly for the workers and businesses they employed on the site, many of whom were locally based.
“At the time of their appointment in 2016 the council undertook thorough due diligence checks on the company before proceeding and carried out follow up checks at key points all of which Dawnus passed. However the construction industry remains volatile and the council is always aware of the risks relating to projects such as this. On becoming aware recently that Dawnus were under increased pressure the Council made sure they had contingency plans in place to step in should the issues escalate.
“This meant that we were able to move swiftly after receiving confirmation and by the following morning had secured the site and commissioned another contractor, local company CTS, to move forward with construction in the short term. CTS will be focused on the most immediate works to allow our new tenants to open for business and we expect to have several of these opened as planned along Rose Street and Bush Walk. I’d also like to confirm that, despite rumours, those fitting out units for our tenants have continued to work all last week.”
Alongside the work CTS is doing on site we are also in the process of understanding the situation in respect of the Dawnus' Sub-Contractor and Supplier’s contracts. As soon as the council has a clear understanding it will be able to move forward with deciding how to complete the remainder of the works.
Whilst this is unfortunate, and will lead to a delay in the overall completion of the project, the council hopes this will not have too much of an impact in opening up the new square and businesses. The project was close to completion with the majority of main construction work finished and only a limited amount of work outstanding.
Cllr Mirfin added: “There will undoubtedly be an increase on the overall costs of the project though believe the remaining works at Peach Place can be delivered within the original agreed budget. As mentioned before, with the works CTS are carrying out, we very much hope to see several of the new businesses open shortly as planned and will continue to issue updates as we move forward.”