Client to advertise for new project manager following dispute and delay on £35m Grimshaw scheme

Bath and North East Somerset Council (Banes) is to advertise for a new project manager for the Bath Spa project in a bid to end the deadlock over the troubled project.

John Betty, the recently appointed Director of Major Projects at Banes, said he intended to combine the roles of contract administrator, a role currently held by architect Grimshaw, and project manager, currently held by Gardiner and Theobald Management Services.

The council stressed that Grimshaw would remain the project architect, although it was unclear if this diminished Grimshaw's role on the project. Grimshaw refused to comment.

Betty said: “The Contract Administrator has specific duties and responsibilities under the contract. The Project Manager is currently a consultant adviser to the Council, responsible for the progress of the project.

“On this project there have been a number of issues, most notably the peeling paint and now the leaking floors, where a lot of time and money - causing long delays - has been spent while discussions over responsibilities between the Contract Administrator, architects (Nicholas Grimshaw & Associates) and the contractor (Mowlem).

“I am therefore proposing to advertise for a new position of Contract Administrator/Project Manager for the Spa project, which will provide us with a single point of responsibility and clarify roles on the project and start the process of breaking the deadlock to work towards the completion of the building as quickly as possible.”

The project’s cost has swelled from £13m originally to around £35m.