Lendlease has been appointed management contractor for the £330m refurbishment of Manchester Town Hall, ahead of rival Laing O’Rourke.
Lendlease will now work with the design team, which includes Arup and Ramboll, to appoint and manage contractors for more than 100 different packages of work on the Grade I-listed building.
Construction costs are estimated to be £155m for the job with professional fees, contingency and decanting staff raising the total cost to around £326m. Construction is scheduled to start on site in the second half of 2020 with work lasting four years.
Deputy leader of Manchester City Council Nigel Murphy said: “There aren’t many construction firms with the expertise and resources required to deliver a heritage project of this scale and complexity on behalf of the city and after a rigorous selection process we are confident that Lendlease offered the best overall value.”
Council papers revealed in September that Lendlease and O’Rourke were the only two firms to complete selection questionnaires for the job.
Lendlease Europe construction managing director Neil Martin said: “Lendlease has a long track record of working with heritage buildings and enhancing them for contemporary use and we will bring all of this experience to bear at Manchester Town Hall.”
The selection of Lendlease has attracted criticism due to an ongoing dispute over cladding on two blocks in the city built by the firm.
Residents of the Vallea Court and Cypress Place buildings in Manchester are being asked to pay £3m to replace non-compliant on the blocks.
Lendlease built the flats in the Green Quarter in 2013 and sold the freehold to private equity investors Pemberstone in 2015.
Manchester Liberal Democrat leader John Leech said: “When it was revealed that Lendlease was in the running for this contract, the Lib Dems demanded the firm not be awarded any further contracts until they resolved the previous issues that were hitting local people here in Manchester.
“But now that Lendlease has been given this huge contract regardless of how badly they have treated local people, Manchester Council must insist that they pay the £3m Green Quarter cladding bill that is crippling local people and end this disgraceful saga once and for all.”
Lendlease declined to comment on the Green Quarter buildings.