Council to restart contractor search for Ardrossan regeneration
Ambitious regeneration plans for Ardrossan are set for an “inevitable” delay after North Ayrshire Council failed to secure a contractor to carry out essential remediation works on the site.
The £170 million package of work for the town is seen as being the most exciting the area has ever seen.
Much of the work – a new education campus, marine, residential and commercial development – will take place on the former Shell Oil site and Full Council approved the plans at a meeting on September 2020.
It was initially anticipated that remediation works would commence on site in Spring 2022 with a view to completion in 2023 to align with the construction works of the Ardrossan Campus which is for completion in January 2025.
However, an update provided to the local authority’s Cabinet explains the issues behind the delays in securing a contractor to carry out work and how these can be overcome. A new procurement process will need to be carried out, it added.
The report said: “A delay to the Campus opening is now inevitable but a new plan is being put in place that will help the council overcome the construction challenges that are affecting large-scale projects across the country.”
The report also explains how Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) – which is providing 50% of the funding for the new Campus – are involved in discussions and remain supportive and understanding of the challenges currently facing North Ayrshire Council.
Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet member for Economy and Climate Change, said: “Everyone is aware of the unique challenges right now. The highly challenging environment including contractors being very selective in projects that they bid for, skills shortages, volatility in the price of materials, uncertainty in supply chains, global market uncertainties and construction inflation have undoubtedly played a part in this particular tender process.
“We have held really positive discussions with SFT and we will explore various options and ascertain the best route forward.
“There are always bumps on the road in projects of this scale but we are very confident these can be overcome. We look forward to sharing more information over the coming weeks.”
A detailed update with further information on timescales and when work will commence will be provided in November.