Liverpool developers vow to complete projects despite troubles at building firm

Bolton-based Forrest Construction is the main contractor on three major Liverpool schemes, one worth £100m, but has had to call in restructuring specialists. Tony McDonough reports

Elliot Group’s £100m Aura development in Liverpool


Leading Liverpool property developer Elliot Lawless says he has a “full plan B” in place if the main contractor on two of its multi-million pound developments is unable to sort out its financial problems.

Bolton-based Forrest Construction is the main contractor on three major Liverpool schemes, one of which is Elliot Group £100m Aura development. Forrest is also the contractor on a £70m Elliot project in Salford.

Last week Forrest admitted it had made “a series of incorrect pre-construction estimates” on some of its projects” and was forced to deny it was on the verge of entering administration. Directors have called in restructuring specialist FRP Advisory “in an advisory capacity over the past few weeks to explore options for the business”.

It is also the main contractor on Plaza 1821, a £21m Peel/Regenda project in Princes Dock, part of Liverpool Waters, that will comprise 105 apartments, and also on a 120-apartment scheme, the Eight Building, for Liverpool developer Iliad.

LBN has asked Peel for a comment and Iliad has told the Liverpool Echo that it was waiting to see what happens with Forrest and insisted the development would still be completed.

The partially-completed Plaza 1821 development at Princes Dock in Liverpool


Elliot Group’s Aura scheme is by far the biggest, comprising 142 homes and more than 1,000 student beds. Mr Lawless says he has put in place contingency measures to minimise disruption to delivery timescales and protect investors’ interests in the event of any further problems at Forrest.

He explained: “We have a Plan B and we’re satisfied that it is robust. There are lots of great people at Forrest and it’s a shame to hear about the company’s problems but we are ready should the worst come to the worst.

“We’ve delivered more than 3,000 units for our clients in recent years without any issues and nobody should under-estimate my determination to get the right result for my funders. I and my professional team have had our sleeves rolled up and have a team ready to go if need be.”

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