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Revealed: Grimshaw and Carillion coughed up £7m over Bath Spa

Grimshaw and contractor Carillion paid Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) nearly £7million in settlement of the Thermae Bath Spa project dispute

The exact amount of the out-of-court deal, made last November to avoid a High Court showdown, had not initially been disclosed. However the local news paper has uncovered figures showing the pair will eventually pay £6.962 million in compensation to the authority on the £45 million scheme which opened five years late and almost two-and-a-half times over budget.

A £21 million claim by the council against main contractor Carillion was expected to go to court in January 2010.

Carillion had originally sought £2.4 million from the council after contractor Mowlem, which was bought by the company in 2007, was kicked off the job in 2005 following a series of construction defects. Grimshaw was dragged into the dispute as a third party in late 2008, when the council launched the huge counterclaim.

Previous story: 18 November 2009

Grimshaw reaches settlement with council over spa dispute

Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, now known as Grimshaw, has avoided a High Court showdown after agreeing to pay an undisclosed sum to Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) towards settlement of the Thermae Bath Spa project dispute

The council’s £21 million claim against main contractor Carillion was expected to go to court in January 2010. Carillion originally sought £2.4 million from the council after contractor Mowlem, which was bought by the company in 2007, was kicked off the job in 2005 following a series of construction defects. 

This latest move effectively ends almost two years of litigation. Grimshaw was dragged into the dispute as a third party in late 2008, when the council launched a counterclaim, saying it had ‘suffered loss and damage which it [was] entitled to recover […] from Nicholas Grimshaw for paint and waterproofing defects, design defects and a failure to carry out adequate tests’.

Thermae Bath Spa (pictured) opened in 2006 – five years late and almost two-and-a-half times over budget, at £45 million.

In an interview with the AJ in 2006, Grimshaw director Mark Middleton admitted that ‘mistakes had been made’, but he added: ‘The building we wanted has been built.’

A statement released by Grimshaw this week said: ‘We are pleased that a settlement has been concluded and proud that our vision for Thermae Bath Spa has proven to be a big success with residents and visitors of Bath alike.’

Timeline:

March 1997 – Grimshaw wins £19 million spa competition

August 2000 – Mowlem appointed contractor. Spa due to open 2002

September 2000 – work starts

August 2006 – spa opens

Summer 2008 – Carillion claims £2.4 million from B&NES

December 2008 – B&NES counterclaims £21 million

November 2009 – Out-of-court settlement reached with Carillion and Grimshaw, agreeing to cover B&NES net payments

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