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Powerminster consortium preferred bidder for Leeds Independent Living Project

03 December 2007

Following a competitive procurement process, Leeds City Council has selected the LiLAC Consortium as the Preferred Bidder for the £65 million Independent Living Project to improve life for over 350 vulnerable adults across the city.

The project will also provide two new units for disabled children and young people. The consortium, which includes FM specialist Powerminster Gleeson Services Ltd, housing provider Progress Care Housing Association, regional building contractor Jack Lunn Construction, financial backers Nord LB and Gleeson Capital Solutions, will now go forward to the detailed negotiation stage which will take place prior to award of the contract in March 2008.

David Bradbury, PFI Director for Powerminster Gleeson Services explains: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the partners to prove that we can collectively provide modern sustainable housing for vulnerable people in Leeds. We are confident that our expertise on this type of project in other areas will demonstrate how we could deliver huge benefits both for occupants and for Leeds City Council.”

The project aims to deliver modern new homes for 350 adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs who currently live in 13 hostels across the city, allowing them to live closer to their own communities in smaller, less institutional and more independent settings. The new units for children are an eight-bed service for disabled young people approaching adulthood and a short breaks unit for severely disabled children and young people.

Councillor Peter Harrand, Executive Board member for adults’ services, said: “The consortium will build high quality homes that will help their tenants live as independently as possible, as valued members of the community and playing a full part in local life. The homes will give their residents dignity, privacy and a quality of life that is not currently available in the present hostel-type accommodation. This is a new departure for the way we provide services for some of the most vulnerable people in Leeds.”

In all, 70 purpose-designed properties will be built for adults, plus the two for children, on 39 sites across Leeds, following the go-ahead for the government-approved and Private Finance Initiative-funded project.
The homes will be modern flexible accommodation suited to the needs of the people using the properties and giving them as much independence as possible.

Colin Rossiter, Director of Gleeson Capital Solutions, said: “The LiLAC consortium is absolutely delighted to have been chosen as Preferred Bidder. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Leeds City Council through to financial close and on into the operational phase where we are confident that our designs and service delivery proposals will provide residents with a greatly improved quality of life and independence.”

The contract will be awarded in March 2008 and building will begin in May 2008. By May 2011 the project will have been completed and the properties occupied.

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