Council considers re-tendering £10m pier works after contractor fails to return
Western Isles local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has said it could potentially terminate a £10 million deal to carry out upgrade works at Lochmaddy Pier in North Uist due to the main contractor’s failure to return from lockdown.
Following the initial suspension of the construction works at the Lochmaddy Pier Improvement Project due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the main contractor L&M Keating Ltd suspended works again on 20 July 2020 with the intention of returning to the sites at Lochmaddy and the Inchgreen Drydock on August 10.
The contractor, which the council said currently remains solvent, has not returned to either site and options as to how the project can continue have been considered and evaluated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s project delivery team.
Yesterday, the Comhairle considered a report which sets out these options and it was agreed that the chief executive take any actions necessary to safeguard the interests of the Comhairle, potentially including the termination of the contract with L&M Keating Ltd and the re-tendering of the works.
Cllr Uisdean Robertson, chair of the Comhairle’s transportation and infrastructure committee, said: “It is disappointing for the Comhairle and, particularly, the community and business sectors in North Uist that we find ourselves in this position.
“It is however important that we continue with the delivery of the project whilst protecting the positions of the Comhairle and Transport Scotland as much as possible and it is clear that we may now have to explore alternative avenues for delivering the infrastructure improvements.
“An additional concern for us has been the impact of the current situation on the local supply chain, including island-based subcontractors and suppliers of materials and other services. I am however confident that the mechanism now in place within the administration of the contract will minimise the impact on these businesses as much as possible.”