Elliot Group concludes its ‘Plan B’ for development sites

Elliot Group's £100m Aura construction project in Liverpool, next to the rapidly-developing Knowledge Quarter

Liverpool developer Elliot Group has appointed contractor Vermont to complete its £100m Aura project in Liverpool, having taken possession of its site from troubled Bolton-based contractor Forrest last week.

The move is the second and final act of its ‘Plan B’ to protect investors’ interests in light of Forrest’s well-publicised financial difficulties.

Careys was last week appointed to build the concrete frame for Elliot Group’s £70m twin-tower Residence project in Salford, with the tower crane going up on site this week.

Vermont will step in immediately, employing the existing Forrest site team.

“They’re an excellent bunch of lads and I’m delighted that Vermont has ensured their Christmases won’t be spoilt,” said Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group.

The £100m Aura development in Liverpool comprises 142 homes and more than 1,000 student beds and is fully sold out, said Lawless.

“Our priority has always been to protect the interests of our investors and I’m pleased that we have put this issue behind us and can focus on delivering two great schemes for them.

“We’ve got a little bit of ground to make up in terms of schedule, but we’ve got a team in place well capable of getting us back on track.”

The move comes a week after Elliot Group announced the purchase from receivers of the abandoned Pall Mall project on the northern edge of Liverpool’s business district.

The company is promising to knock down the original framework and return to planners in the Spring with a larger and more ambitious mixed-use scheme.

Last month it was revealed that Forrest was bidding to secure its future after it had stopped work on several developments in Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

Forrest said it was undertaking a financial restructuring, blaming “a series of incorrect pre-construction estimates” on some of its projects.

Forrest is selling its social housing and energy divisions to Engie after refinancing talks for the business failed.

Its new-build business is still in limbo after work stopped on all of its sites.

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