Consultant becomes latest firm to get caught in the fiasco surrounding Rafael Viñoly’s Colchester scheme

Turner & Townsend has become the latest firm to be caught up in the fiasco surrounding Rafael Viñoly’s visual arts centre in Colchester after it emerged it will be taken off the scheme.

It is also understood that Mace, which last week was brought in to review the £26m scheme, which is 16 months late and £9m over budget, is being lined up to take on a construction management role.

Rafael Vinoly's Colchester visual arts centre

T&T, which was acting as QS and project manager, lost the job following the dismissal of contractor Banner Holdings over complaints that work was behind schedule and sub-standard. It is now helping the council put together an “evidence file” in case of legal action from Banner, and is carrying out a handover process.

A Colchester council spokesperson said: “With Banner gone, it made sense to look at the people working on the project and it emerged that we were looking for a slightly different type of organisation.”

Paul Smith, a Colchester councillor, said Mace was a “strong contender” to become construction manager.

Turner & Townsend managing director Bruce McAra said: “We are helping to bring the current building contract to an orderly close.”

Meanwhile, the council is pushing for an immediate, full-scale investigation into the scheme’s problems. Smith said: “An awful lot of public money has been involved and we would like the public to know as soon as possible what’s gone wrong and make sure mistakes are not repeated.” However, it is understood the other funding bodies involved are not in favour.

An initial technical report is expected by the first week of July.