THE crisis-hit redevelopment of St George’s Square should be finished within two months.
Kirklees Council yesterday terminated its contract with Wrekin Construction and took control of the £4m renovation.
Work stopped at the site last week when the company went into administration.
The council’s regeneration chief Clr Christine Stanfield announced yesterday that Kirklees was stepping in to get the job finished.
She said: “We have acted decisively to terminate the contract with Wrekin.
“Our aim now is to negotiate with the sub-contractors already involved to enable the project to get back underway as soon as the arrangements can be finalised.
“Once work gets started within the next few days, it should take six weeks to complete.”
Clr Stanfield added that the square’s grand opening was still scheduled for the Festival of Light in November.
The redevelopment has disrupted businesses in the square since it began last April.
Peter Butler, senior partner at Bramleys estate agents based in Railway Station Buildings, says he is glad Kirklees has taken over the job.
Yesterday he said: “I’m delighted that something’s going to happen and this situation isn’t going to drag on for two or three years.
“However, it could be another three to four months before the work is finished which is frustrating.”
Bramleys, which employs 40 people, suffered daily power cuts because of the development work. Mr Butler said the disruption had hit his firm’s takings.
He said: “It’s probably cost us tens of thousands of pounds since the work started last April.
“I could live with disruption for a few months but this has been going on for nearly a year.”
The George Hotel has also been badly hit by the construction work and power cuts. Last month general manager Mark Wakeley told the Examiner the disruption could end up costing the hotel £150,000.
Yesterday Mr Wakeley said: “Renegotiating with the subcontractors will take the council some time.
“I’m disappointed that Kirklees hasn’t contacted us about this.
“It’s unfortunate that they haven’t told us how long this would take.”
Mr Wakeley added that the hotel’s business was still suffering.
He said: “The place looks like a bomb-site. People are checking-in, planing on staying for two or three days, but the vast majority leave within a day.”