The developer of the Shard has told Mace that it expects practical completion of the building by May 2012

Earlier this week, Mace signed a deal to build the 310m-high tower at London Bridge after months of delays. Work due to start in the next three weeks Bernard Ainsworth, the managing director of London Bridge Quarter – which consists of developer Sellar and four Qatari investors – said: “May 2012 is the date we’re working towards and we expect some occupancy by then.”

Ainsworth declined to reveal the fixed price that Mace had agreed to do the work for, but it is believed to be in the region of £425m.

He added that Mace would hand over final details of its construction programme in the next few weeks before it formally begins work on 16 March.

The contract award was held up after Qatari Diar, the real estate company that provided an undisclosed amount of money to keep the project on track, brought in Sir Robert McAlpine and EC Harris to check Mace’s bid. Ainsworth said McAlpine and EC Harris had no more involvement in the project.