Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Grenfell Tower: Rydon replaced Leadbitter as contractor

Rydon was not the original preferred contractor for refurbishment works on Grenfell Tower, it has emerged.  

A contract to upgrade the 24-storey tower block was awarded to Rydon in 2014 and work was completed in June last year. 

However, a Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council press release sent in October 2012, seen by Construction News, refers to Bouygues-owned Leadbitter as the original main contractor for works.

“With architects, Studio E, and contractor, Leadbitter, on board the works can be carried out as cost-effectively and quickly as possible, minimising disruption to residents,” the press release said.

The fire at the Kensington tower in the early hours of Wednesday has so far seen 30 confirmed fatalities.  

Documents published by ITV show that Leadbitter originally quoted £11.27m to carry out the project, which was £1.6m above the council’s budget for the works.

The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, which managed and maintained the council’s housing stock, later put the contract back out to tender.

Rydon then took the contract on for £8.7m.  

Rydon said this week that the refurbishment work it carried out “met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards”.

Improvements mentioned in the 2012 press release included ”external cladding to provide an effective rain screen; double glazing to reduce noise, improve thermal efficiency and fuel economy; and new controlled heating and water systems”. 

Yesterday prime minister Theresa May launched a public inquiry into the tragedy, in which at least 30 people are now known to have died.

Around 80 people have been treated in hospital and 12 are still in a critical condition. 

A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council did not comment directly on the tender process, but a statement said: “We have heard a number of theories about the cause of the fire at Grenfell Tower.  All of these will be thoroughly investigated as part of the formal investigation which has already begun.” 

Bouygues said in a statement: ”First and foremost our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic event and our sympathies go out to all involved.

“Leadbitter did not undertake any construction work on Grenfell Tower as its tender offer was not accepted by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

“We understand there will be a full investigation so it would therefore be inappropriate for us to make any further comment other than to say that Leadbitter did not carry out the Grenfell Tower refurbishment.” 

Rydon have been contacted for comment.  

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.