Lancaster Primark back on track as new contractor found

New contractor found for Primark.
New contractor found for Primark.

Work to build the new Primark at Marketgate shopping centre is back on track following the appointment of a new contractor after the previous went into administration.

The delay created concern among many local businesses but now Lancashire-based contractors Askam Civil Engineering Ltd have took over.

Roubaix Group, owner of Marketgate, has instructed the new contractors to start work tomorrow (Wednesday March 25) on an initial eight week brief.

Work was temporarily interrupted when the previously-appointed contractor, GB Building Solutions, went into administration leaving a number of projects affected nationally.

Askam Civil Engineering Ltd, which has offices in Hampson, will also be invited to tender for a wider instruction to take the project through to completion.

This is being put out to tender in parallel with Askam Civil Engineering Ltd starting this initial eight week appointment.

Chris Beckerman, managing director of Roubaix Group, said: “The important thing is that we are back on with the construction and improvement work for Marketgate.

“Having been unfortunately let down by our previous contractor we have moved very fast to find and put in place alternative arrangements.

“This is good news for everyone with an interest in seeing Primark open as soon as possible and this investment in Marketgate completed.”

The development of the new Primark is the first phase of improvement work by Roubaix Group at Marketgate since buying the shopping centre in September 2014.

John Lowery, managing director of Askam Civil Engineering Ltd, said: “This is an exciting new appointment for us and obviously as a Lancaster-based business, we know all about Marketgate and its importance to the city centre.

“We will be working hard to deliver on this eight week instruction and, we hope, putting ourselves in the strongest position to secure the tender for the next phase by doing a great job.”

Construction work will now continue with a view to handing over the new Primark unit to Primark later this year.

Primark will then complete its own fit out and in-store preparations in order to be ready for an Easter 2016 opening.