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Interserve in legal battle over Swansea stadium 'defects'

Liberty stadium interior   3

Interserve is facing a High Court showdown with Swansea City over alleged defects to works on the football club’s Liberty Stadium.

Swansea Stadium Management Company (SSMC) – wholly owned by the football club – last year claimed £1.3M in damages from the contractor and Swansea Council in relation to perceived issues with the 20,520-seat arena.

The council contracted Interserve back in 2004 to design and build Liberty Stadium, before leasing the arena to SSMC for 50 years shortly after completion in 2005.

The management company claimed in 2017 that defects existed in the concourse flooring and steelwork painting – and that Interserve failed to rectify these issues in accordance with clauses in its original contract with the council.

Although the claims for the defects themselves were dismissed this month by Mr Justice O’Farrell – essentially because they were made too late – the issue of whether Interserve failed to put any defects right in time will go to a fresh hearing in October. Claims against the council will also be heard.

Interserve said in a statement: “The claim that is left is in respect of clause 16 in the contract, which is essentially defects that were identified in the defect liability period, one year after practical completion, with a question as to whether these defects were made good or not.”

A Swansea Council spokesperson added: “The council has clearly stated that we are not responsible for the alleged defects and we will robustly defend our position in order to protect Swansea taxpayers’ money.

“The recent judgement relates to a successful application by Interserve Construction to strike out part of the claim against it. The council has made a similar application to strike out part of the claim against it, which was partially successful. The remainder of the issues in dispute will be considered by the High Court at a trial due to take place in October/November..”

A spokesperson for SSMC said: “We are limited in how we can respond due to the ongoing court case. However, it is imperative that it is made clear that there are no safety concerns with the Liberty Stadium.’’ 

Swansea City FC was contacted for comment.

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