Subbie suffers as Arab hospital builder collapses

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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A Leicester subcontractor has been left £40,000 out-of-pocket after working on a disastrous hospital job where the Arab based main contractor was kicked-off before being wound-up.

United Arab Emirates based Modcon UK had its main contract terminated last month following problems with prefabricated units being used to build the new £2.4m endoscopy and day care unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Harborough.

Modcon UK has since been wound-up in the High Court following a claim from HM Revenue & Customs.

The debacle has forced a rethink of procurement methods at the NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland primary care trust who have paid Modcon £1.4m.

And Leawood Builders, of Leicester, has been left with an unpaid bill for £40,000 after payment problems forced the firm to walk-off site three times before downing tools completely.

Leawood was employed by Modcon to build the foundations for the prefabricated building and install drainage at the site.

Leawood Builders partner Paul Norman said he was not sure the firm would see any of the money it is owed.

He told the Leicester Mercury: “In December, we were told the units were due in January and so we geared up the workforce to meet the tight deadline.”

He said 12 staff were employed to prepare the site for 10 prefabricated sections that were being made in the United Arab Emirates.

But the units were damaged en route from the Middle East to Tilbury docks, where they remained until March.

They were then delivered to Market Harborough.

Norman said his company ensured the site was ready to receive the sections, which were moved into position using a crane.

But he said: “Modcon UK was repeatedly late with payments and on occasion did not pay us at all.

“We walked off the job three times because we had not been paid. In May, we called it a day.”

Former Modcon UK Ltd director Gerhard Theis, speaking from the United Arab Emirates, told the paper: “It is true we owe Leawood Builders £40,000.

“I have employed legal representatives to see if we can restructure to sort things out in the UK.”

A replacement contractor is currently being sought in a bid to restart work by the Autumn.

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