Body blow to York Community Stadium as main contractor pulls out

How the inside of the stadium is envisaged. Photograph: York Community Stadium
5 Dec 2016 @ 11.12 am
| News, Sport

The beleaguered York Community Stadium has been dealt another major blow.

The main contractor for the long-overdue project, ISG, has confirmed it is pulling out.

It follows the plans being called in for Judicial Review, causing new delays and adding to costs.

ISG, a global construction and engineering company, confirmed today (December 5) that it would no longer be part of the consortium led by leisure operator GLL that was delivering the stadium.

An ISG spokesperson said:

We’ve worked for over two years, alongside our consortium partners, to realise the vision for a new community stadium at York, and successfully delivered the enabling package for the scheme in late 2015.

Our commitment to the stadium has never been in question and we have worked diligently to explore every opportunity to bring the scheme to site.

However with further delays caused by the Judicial Review and increasing cost pressures, we’ve been unable to reach a consensus for the next phase of the project.

We will continue to support our partners as they seek an alternative contractor.

The news inevitably places another question mark over the viability of the stadium, which was meant to be built and hosting York City FC and York City Knights games by now.

Council commitment

Looking ’to build the best leisure, sport and health offer for the city‘
Looking ’to build the best leisure, sport and health offer for the city‘

City of York Council said it remained fully committed to delivering the Community Stadium and leisure facility project.

“We are continuing to work with our longstanding partners including the consortium lead and leisure operator GLL to build the best leisure, sport and health offer for the city.”

A spokeswoman for the council added:

We have been clear to the consortium for some time that any further costs on the project can only be accepted once demonstrated that it provides best value in the current market place.

Whilst the council has had no direct relationship with ISG, we are disappointed that they have withdrawn from the project and GLL will now seek to secure an alternative contractor through a competitive process to bring forward a scheme within budget.

‘Get on and build it’

Leader of the opposition Labour Group, Cllr Janet Looker, described the development as “very disappointing news, which threatens to put the stadium development back yet again.”

She said:

cllr-janet-looker-750-1000We watch with interest to see if the council’s coalition administration can, through its contract with GLL, get another developer to deliver the stadium within the set budget or whether the delays will leave it having to revisit the issue of funding for the project.

We are less concerned with which developer builds the stadium, rather that the administration takes the decisions required to get on and ensure the thing is built, and on budget.

YorkMix asked for a proposed timetable to install a new contractor, and an estimate of how much longer this could delay the stadium. City of York Council referred us to the consortium leaders GLL.

We asked the leisure company but it simply responded with a one-line statement: “GLL will continue to work to bring forward the York Community Stadium scheme.”

York City FC didn’t want to comment on the news at this stage.