Tenders were received from five contractors. The lowest price was in excess of the HLF budget and although differences are usual, this was much larger than expected and has taken time to resolve. The best price was from William Anelay Ltd of York who have been designated preferred contractor for the project with the HLF’s approval. Our architects, Thomas Ford and Partners, and project manager have gone through the process of “Value Engineering” with William Anelay Ltd to negotiate costs to within available funding.
Substantial reductions have been made but there remains a shortfall and in order to deliver the project as planned, additional funding of £263k is required. The HLF are potentially able to increase their grant by a further £178k and an application has been made for this amount. In addition, a request has been submitted to Lambeth for an increase of £85k to their existing loan. We shall know by the middle of March whether this additional funding has been achieved and, if so, building works will start in April.
Additional fund-raising efforts are under way but are unlikely to yield any commitments by mid-March.
In the event that additional funding is not achieved, the project will go ahead within the original HLF budget but with a reduction in the scope of works planned on the first and second floors.
Meanwhile, Camelot Security are providing live-in guardians for The Old Fire Station until the contractors move in.
– Geoffrey Lill, SLT Building Project trust