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Quartet eyes £90 million retail job after cancelled bids


FOUR firms have lined up for a £90 million retail job in Livingston as contractors in Scotland turn to retail to recoup costs from aborted bids.

Bovis Lend Lease, Laing O'Rourke, Miller and Sir Robert McAlpine are all hoping to bag the redevelopment of the Almondvale shopping centre.

The complex, in the centre of Livingston, which is west of Edinburgh, is owned by Land Securities.

The developer is planning to extend the shopping centre by building over a car park, which will then be replaced by multistorey car parks. As well as extra shops it will include an indoor winter garden, 28 homes, an 84-bed hotel and possibly a bingo hall and bowling alley.

The project is one of several major retail schemes in Scotland that are attracting a lot of interest after the failure of projects such as Glasgow Bridge and delays on tenders including South Lanarkshire and North Glasgow colleges.

One contractor said: 'A lot of us have been concentrating on education but that sector is running into problems now.

'A few colleges have strug-gled to get realistic prices prior to approaching the market and are having to have a rethink, and there was Glasgow Bridge.

The retail market is doing well, which takes away some of the pain of wasted bids.' A winner will be announced next month. Work is due to start in summer and should be completed in the winter of 2008.