Agenda item

Fountain Court Refurbishment - Phase Two Works


The Executive Member for Regeneration and the Director of Regeneration and Culture submitted a report for the Executive’s consideration. The purpose of the report was to provide an update on the project’s progress and seek delegated approval for the phase two contract award.


Following the purchase of Fountain Court in spring 2021, a lot of work had been undertaken to ensure the building would meet the Council’s requirements to be a modern, collaborative place to work.  The report, which had been submitted to the Executive on 5 October 2021, approved the £7m budget required to refurbish and fit out Fountain Court ahead of its occupation by Council staff. 


Following survey and design work, in October 2021, Overbury Plc were appointed by Middlesbrough Council to carry out the phase one demolition and strip out of Fountain Court.  The phase one works commenced in November 2021 and had removed walls, old kitchens, WCs and mechanical and electrical services ready for the phase two refurbishment and fit out works. 


The phase one contract also included the creation of larger window openings ready for new windows to be installed, as the current windows were nearing the end of their life.  Most of the new windows would be floor to ceiling height, which planned to significantly improve natural light and the building’s internal and external appearance.  Moreover, they would be opening windows, which planned to improve the building’s ventilation.  The phase one strip out works was completed on 18 February 2022.


The phase two work was originally intended to be delivered through the phase one contractors, Overbury.  Overbury had submitted its phase two tender to the Council at the beginning of December 2021.  The tender return was in sections, the first being the installation of all Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) works and the second covering the builders work to refurbish the building pre-furniture install.


The M&E tender return was within the target costs set out in the scope of the work, however, the builders work was significantly over the allocated budget.  The Council offered some value engineering in an attempt to bring the cost down, albeit that was not enough to achieve the saving and establish best value for the work.


As such, the Council issued a new set of tender documents to five contractors on 31 January 2022 and their tenders had been returned on 7 March 2022.  The contractors had been selected based on their specialism and track records.  That was for the builders work only and management of the lowest M&E contractor from the December 2021 tender return.


After completion of the phase one work, a security firm would be on site to safeguard the building until the main contractor started work on site in April.


The completion date for the phase two work would be confirmed through the tender process but was targeted for the end of August 2022, with the furniture install and ICT fit out taking place in early September, ready for occupation.


The timetable for the project was summarised in the table below paragraph 12.




The other potential decisions that had not been recommended included:


The Council could do nothing - If the Council did not grant delegated approval, the decision to award the contract would have been submitted to the Executive for approval, which would have caused an unnecessary significant delay to the programme and the date for occupation.




1.      That the progress made on phase one works at Fountain Court be noted.

2.      That approval for the award of the phase two refurbishment works contract be delegated to the Director of Regeneration and Culture, Richard Horniman and Director of Finance, Ian Wright.




The costs provided by Overbury for phase two were in excess of the available budget and value for money could not be evidenced.  In order to maintain programme, it was imperative the Council could award the contract for phase two to an alternative contractor without delay following receipt of a suitable tender for the works on 7 March 2022.  Delegating approval for the award of the phase two refurbishment works would ensure the contract could be awarded in an expedient manner.

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