WATSON Burton’s construction department advised Tolent Construction and Ryder Architecture Ltd on the £40.2m agreement to redevelop Newcastle Central and High Heaton libraries.
Construction partner Roddy Gordon led the team that advised Tolent on its construction contract and advised Ryder and Tolent on the final agreement documents that have now been signed, enabling building to go ahead.
Newcastle’s former city library at Princess Square has been demolished to make way for the six-floor building that will open in 2009. High Heaton library is due to open in 2008.
Tolent and Ryder are part of the Kajima Partnerships consortium building the PFI project in partnership with the city council. Mr Gordon said: “This is a pivotal project for Newcastle, which required detailed documentation and advice from the outset.
“Newcastle Library presented particular problems concerning adjacent buildings because of its city centre location. We are delighted that the design and construction team, with our advice, has resolved any potential hitches and the project has been able to go forward to financial close.
“Tolent and Ryder are regionally-based firms with strong track records. The city libraries PFI project is a major scheme that will be delivered by companies who are all committed to driving forward high quality development in the North-East.” Tolent commercial manager Paul Walker said: “A project such as this has a long-term impact on the city as a destination of choice for businesses, students and visitors.”
Ryder executive director Peter Buchan said: “The new libraries will provide welcoming, contemporary buildings which will enhance the cityscape and be accessible for the community. The clarity and strength of the design will be attractive for many thousands of library visitors for decades to come.”
Kajima Partnerships development manager Craig Smailes said: “Now that all the contractual issues have been finalised, we can concentrate on developing the detailed design and efficient delivery of the project.”