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Metro Mayor: We must understand how to learn from Carillion collapse

There must be an understanding of “what went wrong and how to learn from” construction giant Carillion’s collapse according to Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram.

The Liverpool City Region leader says the firm going into liquidation “raises some very difficult questions” around contracts it has been working on in the area, including the development of the new £335 million Royal Liverpool Hospital.

A winding up order was made against Carillion yesterday (15 January) and the High Court appointed the Official Receiver as the liquidator of the firm. Representatives of PwC have also been brought in as special managers.

In addition to working on major developments including projects around the North West, including joint ventures, Carillion has also been awarded part of a the HS2 contract and provides maintenance and services at a number of prisons, schools and hospitals. It employs thousands of workers across the UK.

Metro Mayor Rotheram says: “There is something fundamentally wrong when a company of this size, with a number of significant contracts awarded by national government, ends up in this position. We need to understand what went wrong and how to learn from it.

“Carillion’s collapse raises some very difficult questions around what happens to the many publically-funded contracts, including construction of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital and elements of HS2, that it will now be unable to honour.”

Following days of reports that Carillion was on the brink of collapse, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust issued a statement offering reassurances that the city’s new hospital will be completed.

Aidan Kehoe, chief executive at the trust, says: “The news about Carillion is extremely worrying for their staff and sub-contractors and we hope that they receive the necessary support.

“We want to reassure people that the new Royal will be built and the Hospital Company has a range of options and contingency plans that are being implemented now that Carillion has gone into liquidation.”

A statement posted on Carillion’s website yesterday says: “The Official Receiver has been appointed liquidator of Carillion Plc and certain other companies in the group. The Official Receiver is seeking to maintain operational continuity and is continuing to trade these companies.

“Special managers have been appointed by the High Court to help manage the affairs, business and property of the companies, in accordance with the powers and duties contained in the order appointing them. The special managers act as agents of the companies, without personal liability.”