No one wants £8m towers contract

Some of the tower blocks in Muirhouse which need a new heating system
Some of the tower blocks in Muirhouse which need a new heating system

North Lanarkshire Council is struggling to find anyone to take on an £8 million project to upgrade the heating within Muirhouse tower blocks.

In February the housing and social work services committee agreed a budget for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a district heating system covering Barons, Dalziel, Grange, Merryton, Muirhouse, Netherwood, Shields and Doonside Towers.

After the contract was advertised 41 contractors expressed an interest with eight submitting pre−qualification questionnaire. Six of these were then invited to submit tenders for the work.

However, during the tender period changes to ECO funding were announced by the UK Government and the reduction in availability and uncertainty over future funding resulted in only one tender, from Keepmoat Regeneration Ltd, being received.

Unfortunately, that bid significantly exceeded the £8 million budget identified for the project.

Des Murray, head of business housing property, told last week’s meeting of the committee: “A value engineering exercise is ongoing and will inform the final decision regarding the district heating scheme in the changing economic climate.

“Alternative proposals are also being evaluated should the current proposals prove to be no longer viable.”