A CORE of five contractors are facing off for a bundle of term maintenance repairs contracts, totalling £43 million, for Reading Borough Council.
The jobs cover all council-owned properties and are being let in six packages, worth £8.75 million a year.
Botes, Ecovert South, Ernest Ireland - part of Mowlem - Haymills and the council's own direct services organisation are bidding for the six deals.
Try Accord was also invited to bid for the packages, but has now pulled out. A source at the firm said: 'This one wasn't for us. We decided not to go ahead because it wasn't in our immediate business plan.'
The six main contracts comprise three lots of housing maintenance and repairs; a package of gas and electric installation and servicing; a contract for repairs to civic arts and leisure buildings; and a package for other council-owned properties.
Another contender, Planned Maintenance Engineering, has joined the main five bidders on the gas and electric contract.
On the civic, arts and leisure package, two more firms, Mite and Johnson Control Systems, have joined the five main bidders.
Tenders were returned on November 23 and the council held face-to-face interviews with all of the bidders last week. The council hopes to announce a decision on the winners on December 21.
The contracts will all start next year and are expected to run for five years.