Deal being carried out under CM contract

Mace has been appointed to complete work at Birmingham City’s ground which was left in limbo by the collapse of Buckingham.

The firm’s consulting arm was already working on the job to carry out structural repairs to the lower tiers of the Kop and Tilton Road stands at St Andrew’s.

The Lower Tilton safe standing area will be home to more than 3,000 Blues fans, while the Kop lower stand will accommodate an additional 3,600 supporters. When completed the ground’s capacity will be close to 30,000.

The job, one of several stadia schemes left in the lurch by Buckingham’s implosion, is expected to be completed at the end of November and is being carried out under a construction management deal, the football club’s boss confirmed.

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Source: Birmingham City FC

Mace will now complete the work for the Blues by the end of November

In a statement, Mace Consult’s managing director for property in the UK and Europe, Dan Easthope, said: “Over the coming weeks, Mace will be drawing on our global expertise in stadium and venue delivery, working closely with Birmingham City Football Club and all of the suppliers currently supporting the project to ensure that the remaining work can continue with the minimum of disruption.

“Although the circumstances are unfortunate, we’re pleased that Birmingham City have put their faith in us. We’re confident that we have the right team in place to deliver the outstanding work in a timely manner and ensure that as many fans as possible will be able to support the club at St Andrew’s this autumn.”

Birmingham City chief executive officer Garry Cook, said: “On behalf of all Blues fans I would like to thank the Mace team for stepping forward and helping us in our time of need. By appointing Mace to the construction management role we have ensured we will be in a position to achieve our goal of having close to 30,000 Blues fans, in person at St Andrew’s, supporting the team later this autumn.

“Subcontractors who have worked so hard to get us to this point will now have the opportunity to finish the work they have started. More than 50% of our subcontractors live in and around Birmingham so it is important that we have been able to get them back to work so quickly.”

And he added: “I would like to thank the Buckingham Group team members for their commitment and passion to the Birmingham City project. They are professionals who find themselves in a challenging situation. Our hope is that they all find new and rewarding opportunities in the very near future.”

Last week, Liverpool, whose Anfield Road stand was being expanded by Buckingham, drafted in Rayner Rowen, a Preston-based firm to complete the 7,000 seat job which will take Anfield’s capacity up to 61,000.

Buckingham collapsed into administration a week ago with nearly 450 staff being shown the door immediately with the appointment of administrator Grant Thornton after a planned fire sale of the firm’s divisions only saw Kier pick up the 180-strong rail business for close to £10m.

Efforts to rescue other parts, including its building, civils and sport and leisure arms, hit the buffers with close to 500 staff, including 45 at head office kept on to help with the Kier deal, made redundant.

In its last set of accounts, for the year to December 2021, Buckingham’s turnover went up 14% to £665m but the firm racked up a £10.7m pre-tax loss with the company blaming a bust subcontractor and a client that kept changing its mind on a stadium contract, widely believed to be its scheme at Fulham’s ground, sending it to only its second annual pre-tax loss since being set up. The firm had been predicting income this year of around £700m.

Last month, Fulham said the Craven Cottage job, originally due to finish in time for the start of the 2021/22 season, would not be completed until next year.