Kier replaces Midas on Cornwall project

Kier has replaced the collapsed contractor Midas on a business-workspace project in Penzance, Cornwall.

Construction of the three-storey building, designed as a hub for creative businesses, was abandoned after Midas entered administration earlier this year.

This week, Cornwall Council confirmed that Kier would continue to work on the Penzance Creative Cluster, which is located on Causewayhead high street.

The project will comprise 30 modern studios and flexible workspaces for smaller business in the creative sector, ranging from digital firms to visual and performance artists.

The council has invested £3.5m in the project, while the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has contributed £6.5m. Local leaders hailed the appointment of a replacement contractor as a success, in the context of rising construction costs in the sector.

Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for the economy, said: “It is great news that we have a new contractor to complete work on the project, which forms part of a wider strategy to regenerate and reinvigorate Penzance town centre.”

He added: “With the unprecedented rise in the cost of delivering construction schemes, I am pleased we have been able to secure additional ERDF investment, as well as increase the council’s contribution, to bring this project to fruition.”

Cornwall Council local member for Penzance East, Tim Dwelly, said the appointment and funding had saved the project from being “scuppered” after Midas’ collapse.

Kier Western and Wales area manager Chris Couch commented that the building would aim for a BREEAM excellent rating and provide opportunities for locals to be trained on site.

“As part of the project, our Cornish-based team will be working with local schools and employment organisations to provide onsite training and work experience,” he said.

“We know this scheme is important to the local community; it will provide first-class new employment space as well as training opportunities for the next generation, as we look to leave lasting legacies in areas in which we work.”

Construction giant Midas called in the administrators in February this year, owing £22m to creditors when it went down.

In June, Glencar replaced Midas on a £23m warehouse job in Surrey. This came after Morgan Sindall stepped in to take over an £11m hotel build in Devon that Midas had left unfinished.

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