Council confirms design excellence at heart of Ardhowen Project


Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has confirmed that it wishes to put quality at the heart of its procurement process for a design team for the Redevelopment of Ardhowen Theatre on the outskirts of Enniskillen.

Following concerns raised by RSUA, the Council has clarified that the fee estimate of £450,000 should be viewed against a current construction cost estimate of approximately £4.5m and not against the total project cost of £7.7m. The higher figure includes professional fees, theatre equipment costs and an allowance for construction market volatility.

The Council also confirmed that the tender would be assessed on a Quality/Cost basis with a weighting of 80%/20% in favour of quality.

Ciarán Fox, Director of RSUA, said, “The Council’s speedy and thorough response to the query raised clearly demonstrates its determination to place quality at the heart of this appointment process. Whilst bidders are not bound to take cognisance of the fee estimate when preparing their bid, there is no doubt that fee estimates can be viewed as an indication of a client’s expectations. Clarity on the relevant figures for this project is most welcome. “

“Regarding the tender process, the weighting of 80% for quality means that the quality submissions are likely to be a genuine determining factor in selecting the winning team. This strongly discourages a race to the bottom. The Council is to be commended for its determination to invest in good design to deliver long term benefit to the community.”