Project manager Mace has been drafted in to the £100m refurbishment job at the Savoy hotel amid rumours of further delays and cost overruns on the project

Building understands Mace was brought on to the job over the summer after widely reported delays, caused in part by asbestos found in the building.

The job, being carried out by contractor Chorus, is already running at least six months late, and is now scheduled to open in spring 2010, according to the developer, Fairmont Hotels. In June it was still planning for a “phased autumn/ winter 2009 re-opening”, but a spokesperson for the hotel said the 18-month building programme had been extended to “over two years”.

The drafting in of Mace follows the earlier departure of the original M&E contractor on the job. EI.WHS withdrew at the end of last year, to be replaced by Spie Matthew Hall. EI.WHS had carried out M&E work for the Savoy for the previous 11 years, but, according to a source close to the job, left after failing to agree contract terms with main contractor Chorus.

The source said: “I felt sorry for Matthew Hall being brought in after the event, and it may have suffered for that. Not knowing the building like EI.WHS, it was already on a sticky wicket.”

The project, which includes the refurbishment of 268 guestrooms, has been designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, previously responsible for the George V in Paris and the Hermitage in Monaco.

Kiaran MacDonald, general manager at the Savoy, said the original contractor, Chorus, remained “an integral part” of the programme.

He added: “Significant progress is being made every week and the exterior scaffolding is starting to come down. We look forward to unveiling the new Savoy in spring 2010.”

Chorus declined to comment.