Project manager Capita Symonds set to complete repairs by next Easter after taking over from Mowlem

The £40m Bath Spa scheme will not be completed for almost a year, Building has learnt this week.

A finishing date of next Easter was expected to be set by project manager, Capita Symonds, today.

Building understands the firm will submit a report setting out a rescue plan for the project to client Bath and North East Somerset council (Banes), which will fix a timetable for work required to remedy the technical problems that have beset the project. The scheme was originally scheduled for completion in 2002.

Capita Symonds was appointed to draw up a rescue plan for the scheme after contractor Mowlem was sacked last month.

The firm concluded its audit of the site this Tuesday. After today’s report has been issued 12 works contracts will be put out to tender. The council is set to re-engage a number of subcontractors and replace others.

Jonathan Goring, director at Capita Symonds, said the cost of the project would be announced shortly and would “raise few eyebrows”. It is believed that the final figure will be in the region of £40m, almost four times the original budget of £13m.

Goring said that Capita Symonds knew how to repair the leaking floor of the spa but would not reveal the solution. The firm has consulted a wide range of experts.

Now we have been able to see the wear and tear on the site

Councillor Nicole Flaherty

Capita Symonds, which is also the scheme’s contract administrator, is following a fresh approach to procurement for the project, under which the council will have direct control of the contractors. The council has also combined the roles of contract administrator, previously held by architect Grimshaw and project manager Gardiner & Theobald. A number of snagging jobs were identified during the audit, said Nicole O’Flaherty, councillor responsible for the spa. She cited chipped paint and damaged door handles.

She said: “Before, it was Mowlem’s building. Only now have we been able to get onto the site and see the wear and tear on the building that has resulted from the work that’s been going on. We have had to look at it with a magnifying glass.”

A spokesperson for Bath and North East Somerset Council said that it had yet to receive Capita Symonds' report and was therefore unable to comment.

It is allowing councillors on to the site today to view progress.

A spokesperson for dismissed contractor Mowlem said it was consulting with its advisers over its next move, which may well involve legal action.

  • Capita Symonds is part of a team that will project manage the redevelopment of Dublin rugby stadium Landsdowne Road. The consortium also includes Franklin + Andrews and Irish firm Project Management. A consultancy team including HOK Sport and Buro Happold is handling the design of the new stadium.