By Ruth Lucas

£1.6 MILLION was paid to contractors for Carnival Place before they went bust, the News can reveal.

This comes as Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) has appointed a third contractor, Feltham Constructions, for the ongoing development of more than 55 flats - after the first two went into administration.

Sarah Morgan, assistant director for commercial property at WBC told the News that the second contractors, Osborne, received a payment circa £1.6 million for works undertaken on site between July 2023 and April 2024.

She explained: “Payments are made in phases throughout the project and reflect works carried out as money is not paid in advance.”

The block of flats in the Carnival Hub in Wokingham town centre form an important part of the council’s regeneration plan.

Around 55 homes were supposed to have been ready in September 2023, but progress came to a halt after the first construction group hired, The Mid Group, went bust in 2022. Osborne was then hired in the summer of 2023, before hitting money troubles this April.  

With the hiring of a third contractor Feltham Constructions, Ms Morgan has assured that the council has “robust procurement policies in place for the appointment of all contractors which include a range of financial checks and added”.

“There is nothing in Feltham Construction’s records to raise concern”, she continued.

But Ms Morgan added: “Recognising that there will always be a risk that business circumstances change after selection, the council uses industry standard contracts which minimise the council’s risk of exposure and allow them to act swiftly should issues arise.”

In a statement released by WBC, David Yates, director at the Newbury-based Feltham Constructions said he was “delighted” to be working to “bring 55 high-standards, desirable apartments to completion”.