Express & Star

Springfield Brewery setback as revamp work goes back out to tender

The University of Wolverhampton is looking for a new firm to build its £20 million School of Architecture and Built Environment.

An artist impression of the school, released earlier this year.

The contract for the Springfield Brewery site project will go back out for tender after ‘changes were required’ to plans put forward by the preferred construction company.

The build is part of a £100m redevelopment of the former brewery involving the renovation of Grade II-listed buildings.

The contract was originally up for grabs in 2016 and Wates Construction Midlands was given ‘preferred bidder status’ to carry out the project.

However, the university said after reviewing the pre-construction agreement, it had decided to go back to the drawing board and get another construction firm on board.

A university spokesman said: “A preferred bidder for the Springfield project had been selected but a full contract was never awarded.

“As we moved to development stage it became apparent that changes were required to the scheme.

“As a result of this – and as part of EU procurement rules – we have had to halt the original tender process and will go back out to the market.

“The £100m development of Springfield Campus remains one of the University of Wolverhampton’s key strategic developments.”

Bidding will re-open in early 2018 after new design work is carried out. The university was not able to say how this will affect the value of the scheme.

A further artist impression showing the entrance to the site.

John Carlin, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction Midlands, said: “Our work with the university as part of the second stage procurement process identified required changes to the project.

“As a result of this, the initial procurement route used was deemed no longer suitable and the university has decided to review procurement options before going back out to the market place. We are fully supportive of the university’s decision and believe this is the best approach to ensure the success of the future School of Architecture and Built Environment.”

The school is still expected to open in the 2019/20 academic year. It is one of three schools due to be based at the site.

The news comes as earlier this year it was revealed that the cost of creating the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills also at the Springfield site had spiralled by £500,000.