£10m contract terminated after firm failed to return to site following Covid shutdown

THE £10 million contract for improvement works at Lochmaddy Pier in North Uist has been terminated, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has announced.

The Western Isles local authority warned in October that it was considering re-tendering the works, after contractor L&M Keating Ltd failed to return to site in July after the Scottish Government eased Covid-19 restrictions on construction work.

The council said that the contract has been terminated following consideration of contractual details. The Comhairle, in collaboration with Transport Scotland as key funders of the project, will now explore options for commissioning and organising delivery of the works.

The local authority added that there is an immediate need to undertake reinstatement works at the site to ensure it is left safe and secure for the intervening period. It is also proposed that the former Visit Scotland and Coastguard properties at the site are demolished in the coming months.

Councillor Uisdean Robertson, Chair of the Comhairle’s transportation and infrastructure committee, said, “Whilst we recognise the financial and organisational challenges facing the contractor, it is crucial that we continue with the delivery of the improvement works.  The decision to terminate the contract was not taken lightly and we see re-engaging with the construction sector as soon as possible as the best way forward for the project”.