FIVE firms are expected to be formally appointed to a £60 million framework deal for Liverpool University in the next few days.
The work will run for a maximum four years under EU procurement laws and involves carrying out new build and refurbishment contracts for the university at its city centre location.
A number of other sites, including halls of residence, on the Wirral and at Mossley Hill on the outskirts of the city will also be covered by the framework.
Galliford Try, HBG, Norwest Holst, Wates and Kier are all expected to put pen to paper for the work shortly.
Simons was on the original list of successful firms but it is understood the Lincoln-based contractor had concerns about the fine detail of the contract.
Successful firms were originally told they had made it onto the framework earlier this year but the contract reworking has delayed formal awards.
One source said: 'The selection process has been a bit protracted because the contract got amended quite a bit and some firms wondered whether it was all in the spirit of partnering.' One unsuccessful bidder said: 'It's disappointing not to get on the framework because there is a lot of work to do and it's the continuity of work that we like.
'Basically they're classic post-war buildings, lots of 1960s buildings that are falling down and haven't been touched for years. They were put up in a hurry and need revamping.' The work will be let in a series of packages with each framework contractor being invited to bid each job.
The university is also after contractors for a minor frameworks deal to carry out jobs worth up to £1 million.
One firm chasing the minor works said: 'There's a bit of confusion about this deal and how it originated. A lot of the bigger firms didn't want to do the smaller jobs and then the minor frameworks deal suddenly appeared. I don't know whether it was there all along but we're going after it.' Pre-qualifications for this deal have already gone back with firms due to begin negotiations with the university in the next few weeks.