In July 2022 – the Main Contractor for our 238 homes scheme in Scheme Aspire, the multi award winning contractor Mid Group Holdings went into Liquidation.
The Aspire Development in Slough, consisting of 238 units, was progressing steadily towards its scheduled completion date in July 2022. It was behind schedule, but Click were being informed by all the professionals that Mid Group were able to finish the scheme by Sept 2022 if there was a ‘big push’…
However, the unexpected liquidation of Mid Group Holdings Ltd, the main contractor responsible for the project, caused significant disruptions to that timeline.
It’s only now that the scheme is coming to completion and a year later that the impacts can truly be considered.
In this blog post, I briefly going to explore the specific challenges faced, the measures taken to mitigate the delays, and the overall impact of this situation on the completion timeline of the Aspire Development.
Timeline Disruptions and Mitigation Efforts: The liquidation of Mid Group Holdings Ltd had an immediate effect on the project, causing concerns about its continuity and completion. There was an urgency thrust upon myself and the team to find the solution, at the time receiving in excess of 500 emails a day.
To ensure project continuity, our team took decisive actions. Firstly, recognising the expertise and familiarity of the key site team from Mid Group, we made the decision to retain their services to maintain consistency. Simultaneously, we initiated negotiations with all subcontractors involved in the project, persuading them to reengage and continue their collaboration under new contract terms.
Quick Site Remobilisation and Auditing Process: Despite the challenges posed by the liquidation, we were able to remobilise the site relatively swiftly, resulting in a minimal delay of only four weeks. During this period, we conducted a comprehensive audit of the scheme to assess its progress and identify any areas requiring immediate attention. This audit provided valuable insights into the project’s status, enabling us to make informed decisions moving forward.
Preserving Collateral Warranties and Ensuring Contractual Obligations: One crucial aspect of managing the impact of the liquidation was to ensure that Collateral Warranties remained current. Collateral Warranties are legally binding agreements between parties involved in a construction project, typically the developer, contractor, and subcontractors. By keeping the subcontractors engaged and involved in the project, we were able to maintain the validity of these warranties, providing added security and protection for all parties within the project.
Change in Project Management: In light of the challenges faced, a decision was made to replace the previous Project Manager, Avison Young, with a local and more present company, Johnson Associates. This change aimed to enhance oversight and project management, allowing for better coordination and prompt decision-making throughout the remaining stages of the Aspire Development.
Addressing Black Swan Events: Mid Groups demise was part of the larger economic environment issues. In addition to the liquidation, the Aspire Development experienced several unforeseen external events that impacted the scheme. Firstly, the UK energy crisis in 2022, resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, led to significant increases in materials prices, affecting Mid Groups ability the project’s budget and procurement process when they were delivery the scheme, but we Click weren’t immune to the same issues. Furthermore, fluctuations in currency exchange rates during Liz Truss’s short premiership resulted in a drop in Sterling against the Euro, impacting the availability and cost of skilled labour suppliers. These two points are the cornerstones of construction management budgeting and management. And neither could have been foreseen.
Commitment to Original Specification and Delivery: Even with the budgetary pressures, throughout the entire process, it was decided that no value engineering would take place, and the Aspire Development would be delivered as per the original specification. This commitment ensures that the envisioned quality and design of the project are maintained, despite the challenges faced.
Conclusion: The liquidation of Mid Group Holdings Ltd undoubtedly presented unforeseen obstacles to the timely completion of the Aspire Development. However, through prompt actions, effective negotiations, and the commitment of all stakeholders involved, the project was able to navigate these project delays to enable the successful delivery of what is currently one of Slough’s most prestigious residential buildings . The collective efforts to preserve project continuity, retain subcontractors, and address external challenges demonstrate our unwavering dedication to delivering the Aspire Development in line with the original vision and specifications.
I’m happy to discuss any of the issues we’ve faced, and what it’s to be the the ‘fairy godmother’ to all around, even though it’s unfamiliar territory.
Contact me via contact details available at: https://linktr.ee/aaronemmett