Friday, 13 April 2018

Knowle relocation project: problems for Honiton HQ builder > Could Interserve become another Carillion?

The District Council says it will be moving to its new HQ at the very end of this year:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "The final rubber stamp has been given."

As detailed in its own 'Moving and Improving' pages:

6. Project timeline - key dates

It is important to note that these dates remain indicative only as there are a mix of factors outside the control of the council that may create delays in this process. The project will adapt as necessary.

December 2018

  • Relocation to Honiton complete.

January 2018

  • Planning Inspector allows Pegasus Life Ltd's appeal and has now allowed the proposals to develop to go ahead, subject to conditions.  

26 April 2017

  • Decision made by Full Council that the Council proceed with the construction of a new HQ building at Honiton Heathpark.

December 2017

  • Relocation to refurbished Exmouth Town Hall.

December 2016

  • Development Management Committee refuse the planning application by Pegasus Life Ltd for Knowle.
  • Cabinet and Council (separately) will take the opportunity to review the Project.  This is known as Gateway 7 which is to note satisfaction of the financial requirements and restrictions of the Final Design, confirmation of Contractors Project Costs, advice regarding Planning Application for EDDC at Heathpark and for Pegasus Life Ltd at Knowle.

October 2016

  • Planning permission granted on the application by East Devon District Council for Heathpark, Honiton.
Moving and Improving: all you need to know about the office relocation - Project timeline - key dates - East Devon

The latest dates might be a little over-confident, as reported by East Devon Watch: 


12 Apr 2018

Owl says: due diligence?

September 2017:

“Construction of East Devon District Council’s new headquarters in Honiton is progressing well with groundworks completed and the building foundations underway.

The council is expected to be working in the new premises by December 2018 and contractors, INTERSERVE Construction Ltd, are on schedule to complete on time. …”



Outsourcer Interserve seeks vote for borrowing increase

INTERSERVE will call a meeting of shareholders to seek approval to increase its borrowing limits and prevent it breaching its banking covenants.

The construction and public services group says that it needs higher borrowing levels because of expected “significant balance sheet writedowns”, which it expects to report in full-year results delayed until the last day of this month, only two days after the meeting.

INTERSERVE is one of Britain’s biggest outsourcing companies, cleaning schools, hospitals, government offices and railway stations. It also operates facilities for the ministries of defence and justice. It has annual revenues of £3.2 billion and employs 80,000 people.

It has been feared that INTERSERVE could become another Carillion, a larger rival that went bust at the turn of the year after the failure of several building contracts. Interserve is on the government’s watch list, with Deloitte, the accounting firm, having been brought in to monitor the company. EY, another of the Big Four accountants, is advising Interserve and its lenders.

The business’s problems emerged two years ago after the failure of a venture to build energy-generating incinerators led to it having to pay out £195 million in compensation and penalties.

In a statement to the stock market, Interserve said that at its year-end, its net debt had risen to £513 million. …”

Source: Times (paywall)

EDDC HQ builder in trouble – “problems emerged two years ago” | East Devon Watch

The professional press reports on a construction company in big trouble:
Interserve predicts 'significant' writedown in financial statement | News | New Civil Engineer
Interserve warns of more writedowns in 2017 results | News | Construction News
Interserve to sell all its plant equipment | News | Construction News

It doesn't seem to be a very nice company to work for anyway:

Gender pay gap: Construction exposed as the worst offender

Construction News -05.04.2018

The top pay brackets of Balfour Beatty, Costain Engineering & Construction, Galliford Try, Interserve Construction, Laing O'Rourke, Mace and Morgan Sindall are all less than 10 per cent female. “That's not surprising, quite honestly,” says Women into Construction managing director Kath Moore.

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