More money to complete council HQ works after collapse of contractor Midas

By Ollie Heptinstall   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Sunday 1st May 2022 7:00 pm
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Teignbridge Council offices at Forde House. Picture LDR service (LDR service )

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Teignbridge Council has agreed to put an extra £850,000 towards decarbonising its headquarters following the financial collapse of contractor Midas.

In May last year, the district council voted in favour of spending £670,000 of grant funding, as well as borrowing £2.3 million, for the decarbonisation projects and associated ‘agile working’ projects at Forde House in Newton Abbot.

The works were underway when Midas, the south west-based construction firm, went bust earlier this year with the loss of an estimated 300 jobs.

The group was carrying out a number of projects in the region, including schools, homes, hotels and warehouses. However it was unable to recover from pressures brought on during the covid pandemic.

A report to this week’s full council meeting at Forde House revealed the authority has made an ‘urgent decision’ to spend up to £846,000 of additional capital funding to cover the increase in costs of an alternative contractor.

It said reasons for the sharp rise included material and labour shortages, ‘unprecedented’ levels of inflation, extended delivery construction period and ‘increased consultancy fees to manage the administration and appointment of new main contractor.’

The report also revealed the council had considered abandoning the works, but concluded it is not viable, mainly because £925,000 has already been spent, ‘most of which would not be recoverable.’

In addition, it said walking away ‘would not achieve the primary objectives to reduce carbon at Forde House,’ while the council would still have to complete the replacement of its current gas heating system and reinstate removed ceiling, floor and wall finishes, as well as electric cabling.

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