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Council / Disappointment as no suitable contractors found for £6m council house refurbishment work

PLANNED council house refurbishment in Whalsay and Weisdale is set to suffer delays after the tendering process ended up with no suitable contractors available for the work.

North Isles councillor Duncan Anderson said he was “extremely disappointed” to see further delays to the “significant and necessary work” in Whalsay.

Meanwhile councillor Catherine Hughson, whose Shetland Central ward includes Kalliness in Weisdale, said she was “really disappointed” that the tender has not been successful.

The tender involved the full internal and external refurbishment of 12 properties at Harlsdale in Whalsay, as well as potential future work on 11 homes at Kalliness in Weisdale.

The total value of both projects combined was £6 million.

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council previously said it hoped to attract Scottish Government ‘More Homes’ funding of £2 million towards the overall project cost.

The contract notice for the Whalsay work, which had already experienced delays, had said the project would include the “full spectrum of services required in order to refurbish the properties to a new, modern and energy efficient standard together with associated site works and services”.

This procurement was being let as a serial contract with the potential, subject to satisfactory performance of Harlsdale, for the successful bidder to land the Kalliness work.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Unfortunately after evaluation, no suitable contractors remained on the tender list and the procedure was terminated.

“Housing services are looking at all options available to progress these works and remain committed to the project. However, this will inevitably lead to further delays.”

Anderson said: “I can only sympathise with the residents who have been waiting a long time to see any progress.

“The council tried to make the retender as attractive as possible, but no suitable contractor is currently available for the work.

“The council remains committed to the project and will be pushing to find a solution.”

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Meanhile Hughson said: “Staff are looking again on how to best proceed and are still committed to the project.

“[I’m] sorry for tenants who have waited a period of time to get the works done but they can be assured we are still looking at ways to progress both projects.”

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