Worked was suspended on the Infinity and Aura residential tower blocks schemes in Liverpool in January in the wake of allegations made against Elliot Lawless, the 32-year-old founder of Elliot Group, along with a senior official at Liverpool City Council, who are both the subject of an investigation by Merseyside Police. Work also stopped on Elliot’s £70m Residence scheme in Manchester.
After failing to refinance the projects, administrators have been brought in.
Aura, a £100m student scheme on the edge of Liverpool's Knowledge Quarter, which was due to complete in September 2020. Infinity is a £250m, 38-storey, residential tower on Leeds Street with 416 apartments, scheduled to be handed over in December 2021.
A press statement from Mr Lawless said: “We’ve explored every option available but in light of the investigation, existing investors were cautious about backing the projects to their conclusion… As we enter the administration process, we’ll continue to work proactively with investors to explore how we can help them crystallise their investments and get the projects completed.”
Main contractor on the Liverpool projects was Vermont Property Group. A Vermont spokesperson said: “We have engaged with Elliot Group and their investors directly for over a month now, in an attempt to find a solution to enable the works to recommence on the Aura scheme in Liverpool. We believed there was a solution that would have seen the development successfully through to practical completion, however this needed the agreement and endorsement of all parties under a revised and transparent funding structure. Regrettably, we were unable to able to agree terms and the necessary security provisions with Elliot Group in respect of Aura and have had no alternative but to withdraw from these discussions.
“The Vermont team are extremely disappointed at this outcome, however we remain committed to assisting all parties in exploring how this project can be completed in due course.”