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Three make running for towers plan

Contracts MANCHESTER

THREE rivals are gearing up to bid for the next stage of the £500 million Spinningfields mixed riverside development in Manchester.

Laing O'Rourke, Amec and Carillion are all gunning for the £55 million deal from client Westbury Homes to build up to 400 apartments on the banks of the River Irwell.

The centrepiece of the scheme is two 15-storey towers linked by a bridge, with further accommodation spread over two other smaller blocks.

Original plans for the apartments included prefabricated bathrooms and kitchens, but this idea was abandoned because the variations in the buildings made prefabrication an uneconomical proposition.

The bidders have until the end of May to work up prices for the scheme, which also includes nearly 3,000 sq m of retail space on the ground floor.

The fit-out of all the buildings is included in the tender.

Construction work is due to begin in July, with completion of the first phase taking 18 months.

The overall scheme is expected to take three years.

Abbey Holford Rowe is the project architect, while Gardiner & Theobald is quantity surveyor.