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Capita director to head up Manchester Town Hall refurb

Manchester City Council has appointed a project director to head up the £330m refurbishment of its town hall.

Paul Candelent, who is currently regional director for the North and Midlands at Capita Group, will lead on the £330m refurbishment project, and will be responsible for identifying, leading and managing the full design team for the project, which is set to be in place by the end of April.

He will also lead the Ojeu process for the appointment of a main contractor, which will begin in June.

Mr Candelent has over 30 years’ experience in construction and property, and was project director for Unlocking the Rylands – the project to restore, renew and improve access to the Grade I-listed John Rylands Library on Deansgate in Manchester – from 2005 to 2008.

He was also the project director leading a team of project managers delivering the £500m, 17ha Liverpool One shopping centre.

Manchester City Council deputy leader Bernard Priest said: “Paul has an impressive track record in leading the successful, on-time and within budget delivery of complex and ambitious schemes.

“These include high-profile projects right here in Manchester. His experience in overseeing the rebirth of the John Rylands, another of the city’s Grade I-listed gems, is especially relevant for a project in which heritage is so important.

“We take our role as custodians of the Town Hall for current and future generations very seriously and the project director’s role will be fundamental to the success of this project.”

According to recruitment documents, Mr Candelent will be on a seven-year, fixed-term contract with a basic salary of up to £140,000 per year, and will also receive a £50,000 bonus based on successful completion of the project, potentially taking his overall earnings from the scheme above £1m.

A report to Manchester City Council last summer said the Grade I-listed town hall, which opened in 1877, was “seriously showing its age, with many elements reaching the end of their natural lifespan”.

More than 54,000 parts of the building fabric need attention, of which 40 per cent required immediate repair or replacement.

The cost of the preferred option of upgrading the building to modern standards while protecting and restoring key heritage features has been put at £330m.

A winning contractor is expected to be announced in late 2017.

Intrusive building surveys are scheduled to begin in February 2018, running for seven months, while early works will begin in September 2018. The main construction period is expected to run from September 2019 to November 2023.

The £330m cost includes the refurbishment of the main building, the decanting of council staff to alternative accommodation and upgrade works to Albert Square, but excludes any potential fit-out of commercial areas on the lower levels of the building.

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