Council project gets third contractor in two years

A third contractor has been appointed to finish a residential scheme, after the previous two contractors went bust in the space of two years.

Wokingham Borough Council announced today (25 June) it has picked local firm Feltham Construction to finish building 55 apartments at its Carnival Place development.

Original contractor Mid Group stopped trading in July 2022, a few months after it started on the project.

Wokingham Borough Council took more than a year and half to confirm Osborne as the replacement contractor, but the firm collapsed within weeks.

Sarah Morgan, assistant director of commercial property at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “It is always disappointing when a contractor goes into administration, but there is an inherent risk with building contracts of this type.

“The council undertakes thorough checks and ensures due diligence is done when appointing all contractors.”

Geoffrey Osborne Ltd, along with its subsidiaries, went into administration in April this year. Its administrators reported it owed trade creditors £25.9m at the time of collapse.

Eight-year-old offsite specialist Mid Group had a turnover of £55.7m in its last full year of trading. It joined House by Urban Splash and Caledonian Modular among the modular ventures to hit the buffers in 2022.

The Carnival Place residential scheme, part of the council’s regeneration programme for Wokingham, will provide a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, parking, cycle storage and electric vehicle charging. The development aims to be operationally carbon-neutral, featuring high-quality insulation and solar panels.

The council reported in March that work on the roof started in January this year.

Feltham Construction director David Yates said: “We are delighted to be working with Wokingham Borough Council on the Carnival Place residential scheme to complete the last piece of the development and bring 55 high-standard, desirable apartments to completion.

“As a Wokingham resident for many years, it will be a pleasure to help finally complete this worthy project.”

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