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Troubleshooter Capita Symonds parachuted in at Brum library

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Just weeks after steering Grimshaw's hugely troubled Bath Spa project to its completion, Capita Symonds has been appointed to another troubled project.

Birmingham City Council has commissioned the practice to oversee the development of the latest plans for a new central library.

Proposals to build a new library for the city have been beset with problems, including the recent demise of a Richard Rogers-designed project for the Eastside regeneration area.

But none of these troubles have put off Capita Symonds, which comes to the project fresh from being parachuted in at Bath 12 months ago to oversee the hugely contentious work needed to open the spa.

Working for the Conservative council, Capita's Rufus Gardiner will design detailed proposals for the end of next year.

The council claims that this design work will result in a 'landmark building' for the site, which sits between Baskerville House and Birmingham Repertory Theatre on the city's Centenary Square.

Tory council leader Mike Whitby said he was pleased with the appointment, in a veiled reference to the scheme's troubled history.

'This appointment is an important step forward. The expertise and experience of major cultural and public sector projects that Capita Symonds bring to Birmingham will enable us to develop a robust business case for delivery of this project,' he said.

'This is an exciting scheme and we are already making progress with the proposals to develop a civic landmark for Birmingham,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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