A £3.1m project to redevelop the Crosby Lakeside attraction has met with ‘unacceptable delays’ says Sefton Council as it terminates its agreement with contractor Crossfield Developments. Tony McDonough reports
Sefton Council has terminated its agreement with the main contractor on its £3.1m Crosby Lakeside development due to what it called “unacceptable delays”.
Merseyside development and building firm Crossfield Developments was appointed to deliver the scheme that would create a 2,200 sq ft conference and events space, expanding the current Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre (CLAC).
An additional 38 beds across eight rooms would be accommodated within a ‘bunk barn’, constructed on the roof of the building on the waterfront at Waterloo to provide an extra 2,000 sq ft of sleeping space.
The centre is located at the entrance to Crosby Coastal Park and adjacent to Anthony Gormley’s Another Place installation and has for many years provided sports and gym facilities for Sefton residents and visitors. Funding for the scheme is coming from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
However, the council has grown frustrated at the pace of work on the project and, on Tuesday, it took the decision to terminate Crossfield’s contract. The company said the move was “disappointing”.
In a statement, the council said: “Unfortunately, owing to Crossfield Construction Limited’s unacceptable delays and failure to satisfactorily progress the works on the redevelopment of Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, the council has terminated its employment under their contract.
“This is a difficult decision, which we realise may have a knock-on effect on local firms subcontracted to Crossfield. We understand and share the frustrations that those subcontractors may have.
“Disappointingly, it will also delay until next year, the completion of the refurbishment of this tourist and leisure facility in one of Sefton’s most beautiful locations and the creation of new jobs and training opportunities it will bring.
“The council has worked proactively with the contractor to try to resolve its issues and ensure progression of the project. The decision could not have been communicated earlier, due to the legal and commercial nature of negotiations with the contractor.
“Sefton Council is implementing its contingency plan to complete the scheme and ensure delivery of a first-class asset and the benefits it brings, for residents and visitors, as safely, quickly and economically as possible.”
Crossfield insisted it had tried to negotiate an extension to its contract with Sefton Council and that it was “wholly committed” to the project. It added: “The news of the purported termination of our contact is disappointing.
“Our industry, both nationally and UK-wide, is having to overcome some significant challenges as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Work has been continuing on site at Crosby Lakeside and we are keen to keep an open dialogue with the council to further understand their concerns and work towards a resolution of this matter.”