Builders take on student scheme

Russell Worthington, director at Marcus Worthington and Co
Russell Worthington, director at Marcus Worthington and Co

A GARSTANG building group has taken over a stalled student flats development in Preston city centre.

Marcus Worthington and Co, construction arm of the Garstang-based Marcus Worthington Group, has started work on the £4.5m Living City site on Walker Street at the heart of the University of Central Lancashire’s campus.

It had been halted when contractor, Ice Blue Developments, hit financial problems last month.

Director Russell Worthington said it expected to have the block of 174 student flats up in time for the next intake of university students in September.

He said: “This scheme is another important contribution to Preston’s continued regeneration and adds to the city’s growing reputation as a vibrant university city.”

It has been appointed as contractor by Cosmpolitan Student Homes, the student accommodation arm of Cosmpolitan Housing, which already has halls on Moore Lane on UCLan city centre campus.

The flats, which are being built on the site of a former MOT garage, include a number of double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms with shared lounge areas and kitchens.

It wast reported last month how receivers had been appointed to one of Ice Blue’s leading projects at The Crossroads on Freckleton Road, Kirkham.

Records on Companies House show insolvency experts MCR were appointed in December to the Crossroads scheme by an Australian bank involved in the project.

However, the records also show Ice Blue director Simon Price has more than 20 other companies still registered and operating under the Ice Blue name, each connected to a number of different projects the company is behind.

Ice Blue, which has its head office on Cottam Lane, Ashton, was set up as the development division of Jack Smith Builders, a prominent Preston construction firm.

Mr Price was unavailable for comment.