Sunday 21 July 2024
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Nottingham library opening delayed after contractor goes bust

The opening of the revamped Sherwood Library has been hampered by the collapse of a construction company and subsequent “snagging issues” – but remains on target for the summer.

A contract with local developer Hockley Developments to demolish the old library in Spondon Street and build a new, larger facility alongside commercial space and housing, was signed in 2020.

It followed a consultation back in 2017 with library users who outlined their hopes for the future of the facility, which was in a poor state of repair.

The site was sold to Hockley Developments with an agreement that a library would be built at no capital cost to the council, and that a 125-year lease would be created at a nominal rent.

Its sister company, called Hockley Developments (Mansfield Road) Ltd, is behind the Sherwood Library scheme.

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A three-storey building has since been built, with Sainsbury’s opening on the ground floor last year.

But the library, which is based within the building, was handed back to the council in December 2023 but is yet to open to the public.

It is understood progress on the site stalled due to the collapse of the scheme’s previous contractor, Dako Construction Limited.

This firm appointed administrators in January last year, and a new contractor has been appointed.

A spokesperson for Hockley Developments said:
“Despite the difficulties of the original construction company going into liquidation, Hockley Developments (Mansfield Road) Ltd were delighted to hand over the Sherwood Library development in December 2023, a sustainable, new-build development, which will be very energy efficient for the new owners and tenants, with solar panels to the library and the seven residential apartments, and an EPC rating of A.
“Sainsbury’s opened on the large new, purpose-built commercial ground floor late 2023, and have been delighted with the demand locally, and Nottingham city council are organising their own internal fit out of the library on the first floor, as per our agreement.
“We understand the flooring is currently going down. The floor space is double the size of the old library, and also has an outdoor terrace, plus high-speed broadband.
“A coffee shop will also be opening on the ground floor over the coming weeks to coincide with the library opening, and residents have moved into the second-floor residential apartments.”
All contractors have been paid what they are owed, Hockley Developments says.
Sister company Hockley Developments (Mansfield Road) Ltd was sold and shares transferred in February this year to a Manchester-based Mr Andrew Tommins.
Mr Tommins was appointed as a director the same month, taking over from previous director Alan Forsyth.
Concerns in the community were raised over the sale of the company and the impacts on the project.
However, Hockley Developments says the sale of the arm of its business behind the project does not impact the library, having already been signed off at the end of 2023 by council surveyors.
The  council says the opening of the library has been further delayed more recently by “snagging issues”, as well as officers devoting more time to the opening of the new Central Library in November.
The council confirmed its own contractors are now on-site conducting further work, and it is expected to open in the summer.

Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, added: “We’re really looking forward to the new Sherwood Library opening in the next few months.

“It was handed back to us just before Christmas but, like most new developments, there were some snagging issues that are now being remediated.

“Part of the delay has also been caused by the project being delivered alongside the opening of Central Library and the significant amount of officer time devoted to that.

“Council contractors are inside the building now and laying the floor, so as soon as that is complete the internal fit-out can begin. This will be a fantastic facility for the people of Sherwood when it’s ready this summer.”

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