Work restarts at Paradise Birmingham after Carillion hiatus

Work has restarted on the £700 million Paradise Birmingham scheme – one of the region's biggest regeneration developments – a week after the collapse of Carillion brought construction to a halt.

Work is back under way at the £700m Paradise development in Birmingham today
Work is back under way at the £700m Paradise development in Birmingham today

Demolition contractor DSM has restarted work clearing the western part of the site, around the former Birmingham Conservatoire and Chamberlain House, preparing the way for builder BAM to start contruction of the Two Chamberlain Square office building next month.

But the wider infrastructure work and construction of the nearly-finished One Chamberlain Square building remains at a standstill while the developers seek a replacement for Carillion.

Rob Groves, regional director of Argent, development managers for Paradise Birmingham, said: “We can confirm that works have recommenced on the site clearance of the former Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk and Chamberlain House area.

“Demolition work should recommence at the end of this week.

"Originally appointed by Carillion, demolition contractor DSM is, in the meantime, continuing its work on the ongoing site preparation to ensure the area is ready for the next phase of the development.

“This will enable BAM to commence construction on Two Chamberlain Square in February, as programmed.”

“We are continuing discussions with the various businesses involved in the delivery of One Chamberlain Square as we actively work towards reappointing the supply chain as soon as we can.

“This is a complex situation as we work to pull together the necessary agreements and health and safety measures to get contracts in place for work on the building to restart.”

A spokesman for the developer said later that Argent was keen to maintain the sub-contractors that had already been working on the scheme, because of their familiarity with the site and the project.

"A lot of work is going on behind the scenes," he said. "But it is probably going to be weeks rather than days before we see work restarting on One Chamberlain Square."

He said that, despite the delays caused by Carillion's collapse, the developer was hoping the timescale for the project would not be affected 'too badly' in the long term.

One Chamberlain Square is set to be the new regional headquarters for accountancy giant PwC – formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers – which, by a twist of fate, is the company currently acting as special manager for the Official Receiver in the liquidation of Carillion.

The 172,000 sq ft building is around 80 per cent complete and PwC was due to move its 1,400 staff across from its existing Cornwall Court offices next summer. The move is due to coincide with PwC plans to recruit another 1,000 staff.

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