Vinci Construction UK has been named preferred bidder for the £60m first phase of plans to transform Chester city centre.
Cheshire West and Chester Council chose the contractor ahead of rival contractor Laing O’Rourke to deliver phase one, which comprises a relocated market, six-screen cinema, restaurants, a public square and car parking.
Vinci will be formally appointed to a preconstruction agreement in autumn 2019, ahead of signing the contract for construction works by the end of next year.
In the meantime, the council said the contractor would work with its team to support detailed planning work over the coming months.
Completion of the first phase is scheduled for Q1 2021.
The local authority launched tendering for the Chester Northgate scheme in August 2017, at which point it had expected to name a preferred bidder by March 2018 and for work to start on site at the end of 2018.
In April this year Construction News reported that Vinci and Laing O’Rourke were the two firms shortlisted for the development.
The second phase of plans for the city centre involves demolition of Chester’s existing Forum shopping centre, which will be replaced by a commercial development featuring shops, restaurants and bars.
A spokesperson for the council told Construction News that proposals for phase two were still being finalised and were dependent on what will be delivered under phase one.
Vinci Chester Northgate Hunters Walk CosyClub
Vinci’s latest public sector win follows its appointment earlier this month to the Welsh Government’s £38m five-year FM contract.
The contractor also secured the deal to deliver a £75m expansion of Manchester’s Trafford Centre in July.
Commenting on the Chester Northgate appointment, the council’s cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure Brian Clarke said: “Chester Northgate is the largest project the city has seen in decades.
“The appointment of an internationally renowned company such as Vinci underlines its importance to the city and the region, and its significance in our plans to ensure Chester remains a go-to destination.”
Vinci Construction UK regional director John Roberts said: “This is the next positive step towards the redevelopment of the Northgate area of Chester.
“Being named preferred bidder will enable us to strengthen our existing community links in the surrounding area.”