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Kingskerswell bypass firm would 'take another look' at redeveloping key sites

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

boss: Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive of Galliford Try

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THE company building the long-awaited Kingskerswell bypass might consider a partnership with Torbay Council to redevelop key sites in the Bay.

A proposed public private partnership with construction giants McAlpine collapsed when the company withdrew last year from the original deal which had been negotiated while former mayor Nick Bye was at the helm.

Torbay Development Agency is still in talks with a second bidder, Hawkstone, on a number of sites though it has now halted the process of appointing one partner to handle developments said to be worth around £400million.

Galliford Try is already working on the £110million Kingskerswell bypass and its housing subsidiary has sites in South Devon including Hollicombe at Preston and the old Newton Abbot hospital.

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It is a partner in a similar joint scheme in Gateshead and is bidding for one in Sunderland.

The FTSE 250 listed company has just secured a contract with Genting UK, which has a casino in Torquay, to build a £89million leisure and retail development at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham which includes a casino, a 176-bed four or five-star hotel and spa, conference facilities, factory outlet centre, cinema complex, food and beverage retail space and parking for 480 cars.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive of Galliford Try, said if the Torbay private public partnership was revived, the company would take another look at it.

"We have won the partnership in Gateshead for £347million regeneration, so we know how it works. I not sure why we didn't go for the Torbay scheme at the time. I am sure it was looked at, but possibly not properly from our perspective.

"If something came out today I am sure we would be interested and we would be as good a company as any to do it with our experience in every aspect of such a scheme.

"It seems crazy that we are now looking to bid for another one in Sunderland, but not Torbay. I know McAlpine and I am sure they didn't walk away lightly."

He said in Gateshead they are partnering the one of the largest housing associations in the country and a similar partnership would be needed in Torbay with an established company.

"We would look to partner with a favoured housing association as the partnership would be for ten to 15 years."

Steve Parrock, chief executive of Torbay Development Agency which led the joint partnership project, said: "Torbay Council decided some time ago not to go down the partnership route and I cannot envisage a situation in the foreseeable future whereby this decision will be reversed or revisited.

"The original procurement has officially ended and a new procurement process would be required.

"The TDA has monitored the Gateshead procurement and award since the outset and we wish Galliford Try, one of the UK's leading construction companies every success. They undoubtedly have the ability to succeed.

"In Torbay, a number of the original partnership sites and reserve projects are progressing as stand alone agreements and we expect to be able to give further detail early next year. Site specific negotiations are currently on-going."

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