The Northern Ireland Executive has denied reports that preferred bidder FGP has pulled out of building a new £130m police training college at Desertcreat in County Tyrone.
FGP is a consortium of Spain’s FCC Construction and Belfast contractor Gilbert-Ash. FGP was announced as preferred contactor in December 2013 and the months since then have been spent nailing down precise costs. Work is scheduled to begin in the spring.
Last week members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) called on the justice department to respond to local press reports that the contractor had backed out, now unable to meet the fixed price that it had offered some time ago.
Justice minister David Ford has now confirmed that FGP has not backed out, and that there had been £20m of cost savings found in the scheme.
When the project was first announced in February 2004 the price was estimated at £80m.
A statement from Gilbert-Ash said: "Since appointment as preferred bidder, Gilbert-Ash as part of the FGP consortium has invested considerable time and resources, working collaboratively with the client team, to agree a financially viable way forward for both parties.”