Willmott Dixon replaces Buckingham on city scheme


Willmott Dixon will take over a scheme in Wales left unfinished following the collapse of Buckingham Group Contracting. 

Credit: Willmott Dixon.

Swansea Council has appointed Willmott to complete works at its Copr Bay scheme where Buckingham had been the main contractor before it fell into administration.   

It comes after the council said in September it was in talks with alternative contractors to deliver the scheme “as soon as possible”.   

The Copr Bay scheme is part of a major regeneration programme in the city and covers the area of the former St David’s Shopping Centre and across the new bridge over Oystermouth Road to Swansea Arena and the coastal park – and most of it is largely finished.   

Willmott, which has an office in Cardiff, will focus on completing the car park on the north side of Oystermouth Road and some other “snagging work” on site.  

The St David’s multi-storey car park – which is earmarked for demolition – will remain open in the meantime. 

Neal Stephens, managing director for Willmott Dixon in Wales and West, said the company would try to retain as many of Buckingham’s supply chain partners as possible. 

Buckingham Group, a £700 million turnover business, entered administration on 4 September, resulting in the loss of nearly 450 jobs and the sale of its Rail division to Kier Group.   

“It is very sad what happened to Buckingham Group and to see their supply chain partners go through such a difficult period,” said Stephens. “We will try to use as many as possible as we complete this important project for Swansea. We have extensive experience of working in the local area and are pleased to be working with Swansea Council to bring this fantastic development to a fitting conclusion.” 

A Swansea council spokesperson added: “The Copr Bay district is at the heart of Swansea’s ongoing regeneration of the city centre. When our contractors Buckingham went into administration, we had to act quickly to protect the council’s position and complete the unfinished work.  

“We’re delighted to appoint Willmott Dixon, one of the country’s leading specialists, to manage the construction and ensure the unfinished work is completed as soon as possible. 

“The snagging works will now be finished as soon as possible, and work to finish the car park is anticipated for completion in the spring of 2024.”  

Adding: “The financial arrangements we have in place mean we don’t envisage these works leading to extra costs for the council or the taxpayer.” 

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