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Beetham Tower repairs set to cost nearly £5 million

Shutterstock beetham tower simpsonhaugh
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The ultimate owner of the Ian Simpson Architects-designed Beetham Tower has estimated the cost of structural repairs to the landmark building at almost £5 million – and outlined intentions to reclaim some of this expenditure

Real estate investment trust Ground Rents Income Fund (GRIF) said it had been advised that permanent remedial works to the Manchester icon would come in at £4 million plus VAT and professional advisory fees.

A High Court judge this month ruled that GRIF subsidiary North West Ground Rents (NWGR) must compensate leaseholder Blue Manchester for repairing the 2006 building’s façade.

In a statement at the GRIF annual general meeting this week, chairman Malcolm Naish said NWGR would be legally required to finance remedial work while ‘seeking recovery’.

The court case centred on the failure of structural sealant on several of the building’s 1,300 shadow box units and the effectiveness of remedial work carried out previously by contractor Carillion, which is now in liquidation.

Carillion and its German subcontractor BUG were investigating the faults and how repairs could be put into place when the multidisciplinary firm went into liquidation last year.

‘NWGR is pursuing the proceedings it has already issued against Carillion through its insurers and the sub-contractor BUG, through existing warranties and indemnities, which, if successful, would greatly limit any potential liabilities or irrecoverable losses for NWG,’ said Naish this week.

‘If NWGR is unsuccessful in its action against the original contractor’s insurers or the subcontractor, it may be able to recover some of the remedial works costs from other parties.’

GRIF said earlier this month that the provisional view of the court was to allow 18 months for works to be completed on the 169m-tall building.

Further payments were ordered with respect to hoardings left up from earlier works and the release of dirty water into the water supply of the building due to lack of maintenance.

NWGR was ordered to pay Blue Manchester £250,000 within 28 days, with the final balance to be determined at a future date.

SimpsonHaugh (formerly Ian Simpson Architects) has declined to comment on the case. BUG has been contacted for comment.

The 47-storey building is no stranger to controversy. Ian Simpson apologised seven years ago for ‘distress’ caused by the noise made by wind action on the tower, following numerous attempts to solve the problem.

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