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Lakesmere: Crossrail eyes deal to maintain Paddington job

Crossrail was this week scrambling to ensure work on its sites was not halted by Lakesmere Group’s collapse.

Following the group’s fall into administration last week, major clients including Crossrail and Network Rail have been putting plans in place to ensure jobs are not delayed.

Among Lakesmere Group’s Crossrail jobs was work at Paddington station, where it was employed by a Costain Skanska JV on its £150m station contract.

CN understands one option being considered by Crossrail at Paddington was to retain Lakesmere staff currently working on site in order to complete the remainder of the contract on time.

Sources have told CN that around one tenth of work at Paddington has so far been completed. Lakesmere has also worked on cladding deals at Canary Wharf, Tottenham Court Road, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel. 

A Crossrail spokesman declined to comment on Lakesmere’s work at Paddington, the future of its contracts with Lakesmere, or any of the other station projects involving Lakesmere.

The cladding specialist was also working as a subcontractor for Costain on Network Rail’s £400m redevelopment of London Bridge station.

It is understood that Lakesmere’s work on that project is nearing completion, with Network Rail confirming to Construction News that the remainder of the work will be carried out by Costain’s in-house delivery team.

A Network Rail spokesman said the programme remained on schedule for the station’s concourse to open in January and the project to reach full completion in autumn 2018.

The announcement that Lakesmere Group had entered administration was met with shock by the industry last week.

Administrators at Deloitte confirmed that 109 of Lakesmere’s 241 total workforce had been made redundant. 

Richard Hawes, one of the joint administrators, said: “Lakesmere Limited has experienced financial challenges, arising from a number of unprofitable contracts.

“This has resulted in Lakesmere Limited being placed into administration. Unfortunately a number of redundancies have to be made in the UK and we are offering those affected support at this difficult time.

“We are currently assessing the options available, including a potential sale of McMullen Facades Limited, which is continuing to trade solvently.”

Following news of the administration, a number of subcontractors have contacted Construction News reporting issues with payments from Lakesmere on several jobs over the past four weeks.

Deloitte also confirmed that it was assessing the options available, including a potential sale of McMullen Facades Limited, which is continuing to trade.

McMullen Facades is based in Northern Ireland and no redundancies will be announced there among its 275 staff, administrators said. 

Lakesmere acquired McMullen Architectural Systems in December 2012 after the Northern Irish firm fell into administration.

In 2015, following a management buyout of Lakesmere, McMullen CEO Ted McMullen was made chief executive of the group, with Lakesmere founder Mark Davey moving up to chairman.

The group’s chief financial officer Mark Johnson resigned on 16 October, according to a filing at Companies House. 

Deloitte, Costain and Skanska have been contacted for comment by Construction News.

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