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Laing O’Rourke tipped for Carillion Royal Liverpool Hospital job

Exclusive: Laing O’Rourke is poised to take over from Carillion as the main contractor on the Royal Liverpool Hospital job, Construction News understands.

CN has learned that Laing O’Rourke, whose subsidiary Crown House Technologies has been carrying out M&E duties on the project, is set to take over as the main contractor on the job, which is understood to be around 90 per cent complete.

Last month, the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust said it was engaged in “highly complex discussions” to get back on site on the project, which it said was unlikely to finish before the end of 2018.

The scheme is one of Carillion’s three UK problem projects believed to have contributed to its collapse, along with the £530m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the Smethwick Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

Work on the Royal Liverpool stopped in the wake of Carillion’s collapse and has been slow to restart.

Shortly after the liquidation, CN revealed subcontractors were digging their heels in over unpaid contracts worth millions of pounds.

It is understood some subcontractors are owed hundreds of thousands in official payments and retentions.

Around 30 firms are believed to have been subcontractors for Carillion on the Royal Liverpool Hospital project.

In 2013, Carillion reached financial close on the Royal Liverpool deal through its Hospital Company (Liverpool) joint venture set up with its lenders.

The project has been beset by delays since then, including cracks being found in one of the hospital’s concrete beams in late 2016.

Completion was originally scheduled for March 2017, but this date was missed.

As a result, the NHS trust promised to “closely monitor” Carillion’s work on the project.

A letter released by MPs on the Carillion joint inquiry last week revealed the cost of remedial work on the Royal Liverpool’s cracked concrete beams was borne by subcontractors on the project.

The Royal Liverpool Hospital trust said it could not confirm that a new contractor had been appointed.

Laing O’Rourke declined to comment.

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