Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Consortium Wins Deal to Build New College

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Consortium Wins Deal to Build New College

Article excerpt


APS105M contract to build new facilities at Durham University has gone to a consortium led by a construction giant highlighted for its poor record of paying subcontractors.

Interserve is part of a major consortium that will build the new sites, including the university's 17th college.

But the outsourcing giant has been criticised in recent weeks for its poor record of paying subcontractors on time.

Earlier this month it was revealed that 83% of Interserve's invoices were not met within the agreed terms - the highest failure rate among the UK's biggest firms.

The data - released as part of the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance initiative - also found that Interserve took an average of 50 days to pay its invoices.

As a member of the consortium, Interserve will be tasked with designing, building and financing the two new campus facilities. Asset management firm Equitix and student accommodation company Campus Living Villages UK are also involved.

The Mount Oswald scheme will deliver 1,000 beds to the university and will include a new building with a 300-seat eating hall, as well as sports and music facilities.

Debbie White, Interserve's chief executive, said: "We are delighted to have reached financial close on this project and look forward to starting on site imminently.

"This project builds on our extensive experience in the further education sector and our strong 15-year relationship with Durham University."

The contract win will be good news for Interserve, which revealed it had swung into a loss last week. The company made a PS6m loss in the halfyear ended June 30, as compared with a profit of PS24.6m during the same period last year.

Once completed, more than 700 of the student rooms will have en-suite bedrooms and will be arranged in a mix of cluster flats of between eight and 12 students. …

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