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Keepmoat consortium named for £180m Leeds scheme

24 Oct 11 A preferred bidder has been named for a £180m housing PFI project in Leeds after Treasury clearance was given for the 20-year scheme.

The Sustainable Communities for Leeds (sc4L) consortium, comprising Cyril Sweett Investments, Keepmoat Investments and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets has been selected as preferred bidder by the city council for the project to revitalise the neighbourhoods of Little London, Beeston Hill & Holbeck.

The project had been held up for several months by a central government value-for-money review. It has now been cleared to proceed.

The council will now work with sc4L to finalise its proposals, which includes 388 new council properties, the refurbishment of more than 1200 existing council homes as well as environmental improvements. It is expected that the government will give the go-ahead to sign the contract early in the new year, the council said, enabling work to start on site in Spring 2012.

Keepmoat subsidiary Frank Haslam Milan will be the new-build and refurbishment contractor for the project. It will share the provision of maintenance work over the 20-year life of the contract with sister company Milnerbuild.

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Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield said:  “This is a massive project for the city, representing investment of £180m in deprived inner city areas, so it is a huge relief that the government have finally given us the go ahead. We always had faith that this was a very strong project, which has made the hold ups all the more difficult to accept.

“It is tremendous that we are now in a position to move forward. Hopefully this will bring an end to the uncertainty for the communities involved. We had hoped to start work this summer, so everyone connected with this scheme can’t wait to get started. Hopefully over the next few months people living nearby should start to see things happening on site.”

Deputy leader Peter Gruen added: “The delays in achieving final government approval for this project have been incredibly frustrating for us all, not least the residents of Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck. These hold ups have also been very costly, but it is great to finally have some certainty that enables us to get on and make things happen.”

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