Covid still impacting construction as Fife Council knocks back tenders for £500,000 project

THE £500,000 replacement of Lochore Meadows Country Park’s play area has been delayed after Fife Council said tenders received for the works were ‘higher than expected’.

Plans were announced in November for the build of an ‘inclusive destination’ play park, which would have swings designed to be used by children with disabilities and a sensory tunnel.

Further to this would be new fencing at key areas around the park’s lochs, a new pathway to connect the play park to the visitor centre and infrastructure works to support existing facilities.

However, the local authority said it reviewed bids for the project but was unable to award the work to any of the firms.

Andy MacLellan, Fife Council community projects team manager, explained, “We asked interested companies to tender for the play park replacement work at the end of 2021. Over the past few weeks, we’ve reviewed the bids received and sadly we’ve not been able to award the work to any of those companies.

“The market for play equipment is quite uncertain just now, which has driven up the costs of the more specialist pieces we wanted at Lochore. The construction sector is also feeling pressure, and together with the variability of Covid-19 restrictions, bidding contractors have had to build in the financial risks that they have into their tenders. This has resulted in the tenders we’ve received being higher than expected and means we can’t go ahead with the work right now.

“We share the disappointment that people will be feeling at this news, but we’re sure that they’ll understand that we need to make sure we spend wisely too and get the best value for money. We’re fully committed to the play park replacement and will take a bit of time to review the project before putting it back out to tender, with a new target of early 2023 for completion.”