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Manchester 'Pathfinders' chase council estate work


FOUR consortia are through to the second stage of the first Private Finance Initiative 'pathfinder' scheme, worth £90 million, to repair and maintain a council housing estate in Manchester.

Consortia led by Carillion, John Mowlem, M J Gleeson and Manchester-based Bramall Construction have been selected to provide detailed proposals for renewal and long-term maintenance of the Plymouth Grove and Stockport Road estates.

The firms beat off bids from Laing, Lovell and Beazer.

Mowlem's team includes Bellway Homes and Oval Valley Housing Association (HA); Bramall is working with Riverside HA; Gleeson has teamed up with Harvest HA; and Carillion has linked with Manchester Methodist HA.

The firms are now waiting for output specifications from the client, Manchester City Council, and the teams will have four months to come up with detailed proposals.

The council is due to select a preferred bidder by December and work will start on site next April.

The winner will be responsible for a comprehensive renewal of the estate plus management and maintenance of 1,088 council properties and 62 owner- occupied homes over 30 years.

Sandwell Council will draw up a short list of four consortia by the end of this month for another PFI pathfinder project, worth £50 million-plus, in the West Midlands.

Prequalification forms have been returned to the client, Sandwell Council.

The project will involve refurbishment, ongoing maintenance and management of 1,680 council homes in the Harvills Hawthorn and Millfields areas of Wednesbury South in Sandwell.