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Bangor firm battles for city regeneration deal

BANGOR-BASED Watkins-Jones is fighting it out with three national outfits to build a residential and retail scheme in Sheffield.

The North Wales firm is up against Birse, Shepherd and Gleeson for the £30 million deal.

The quartet will return tenders to client City Estates by September 8, with a decision due shortly afterwards.

Balfour Beatty was originally in line for the Fitzwilliam Street job but failed to reach agreement with City Estates over the price and timescale of the project after six months of negotiations.

City Estates finally put the scheme out to competitive tender last month.

Sheffield City Council has yet to grant planning permission for the revised designs. A decision is expected in October.

Designed by Carey-Jones, the scheme will feature retail units, a health centre and 475 flats.

The project forms the largest slice of the council's plans to regenerate the Devonshire Green area, on the western fringe of the city centre.

Construction work should begin in January next year with completion in June 2002.

The University of Sheffield is planning a £100 million scheme to transfer the ownership and management of its student accommodation to a private consortium. The project will be the first of its kind in the country. The work will be advertised in The Official Journal tomorrow (Friday).