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G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

Midlands-based contractor, G F Tomlinson is celebrating success on several local schemes it has secured preferred contractor status on via a number of public sector frameworks, including Pagabo, Scape and the Department of Education, giving the firm a forward pipeline of work for the second half of 2023 and through

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Handling a dispute with your contractor

When you hire a London, Ontario home builder, or a home builder anywhere for that matter, it can be stressful and overwhelming. You are taking a leap to build a custom home, and with that, you probably have some pretty big expectations. That’s normal and expected any time you’re dealing

Read More »

Contractor Appointed for Winchester Primary School

Winchester’s first primary academy school is due to be delivered by contractor Willmott Dixon, which was awarded the £8.35 million contract by Hampshire County Council. The new Barton Farm Academy is a single storey two-form entry school that features a main hall, holistic music and drama studio, ‘discovery point’ library,

Read More »

Buckingham Group to Deliver Swansea Scheme

Swansea Council has selected Buckingham Group Contracting as the principal contractor to help deliver the £120 million Swansea Central Phase One transformation under a pre-construction services agreement (PCSA). The contract was awarded after a competitive tender process. The transformation will bring a 3,500-capacity digital indoor arena, a coastal park, digital plaza, landmark

Read More »

Visitor Centre Chooses Aggregate Industries Asphalt

Aggregate Industries’ coloured asphalt solution was the choice of Nottinghamshire’s new £5 million Sherwood Forest visitor centre. The project was developed by an RSPB-led consortium and Nottinghamshire County Council and it includes flagship facilities such as a shop, a café with an outside terrace, an amphitheatre as well as a

Read More »

Contractor Requirements for Midland Metropolitan Hospital

Any contractor that will get appointed to the stalled Midland Metropolitan hospital project in Sandwell will have to adhere to the requirements that have been set out by construction union Unite. Originally planned to become operational this month, the hospital project has been stalled since the main contractor Carillion collapsed

Read More »

Ibstock Brick Has Reasons to Celebrate the Brick Awards

This year’s Brick Awards saw Ibstock Brick celebrating the success of architects and brick contractors. Three outstanding projects using products from the Ibstock Brick range were named as winners, with a further two projects receiving commendations from the expert judging panel at the annual awards ceremony, organised by the Brick

Read More »

Contractors Announced for Highways England Work

The 13 contractors who will be carrying out up to £8.7 billion worth of work on the national road network have been announced by Highways England. Known as Delivery Integration Partners, the contractors will be part of Highways England’s Regional Delivery Partnership, which encourages companies to improve safety and journeys

Read More »

UK Contractors Report Increased Order Books

Increased order books for UK contractors haven’t defeated Brexit uncertainty, with high input costs fuelling fears of a subdued and cooling market for the next 12 months, according to the latest quarterly analysis from leading professional services company, Turner & Townsend. The consultancy’s UK market intelligence report finds that order

Read More »

Gilbert-Ash Announces Its Successful Financial Year

Gilbert-Ash, the leading UK construction, refurbishment and fit out contractor, has announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017, which confirm a 50% increase in pre-tax profits, reaching over £2 million, up from £1.4 million in 2016. Additionally, the contractor reported an overall turnover of £165.5 million,

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

contractor

G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

Midlands-based contractor, G F Tomlinson is celebrating success on several local schemes it has secured preferred contractor status on via a number of public sector frameworks, including Pagabo, Scape and the Department of Education, giving the firm a forward pipeline of work for the second half of 2023 and through to 2024 of £60 million. These schemes include 90 new council houses in Worksop for Bassetlaw District Council valued at £21million which will comprise of a mix of two, three and four-bed houses and two-bed bungalows. The scheme contains a host of green credentials including energy efficient air source pumps, solar panels, high insulation and electric vehicle charging points. There will also be cycle routes to encourage health and wellbeing. George Betts Primary Academy in Smethwick valued at £9 million comprises a newbuild replacement school for 420 pupils and 26 nursery places. Once on site the works will be phased so that the existing school can continue to operate whilst the new school is being built. Another high-profile scheme is the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed Stephenson Memorial Hall, which houses both the Pomegranate Theatre and Museum, for Chesterfield Borough Council valued at £16.0million. The project aims to enhance the building by creating a modern visitor experience in the heart of the town centre and extend the life of an important heritage asset – creating a gateway impact and a ‘sense of arrival’ to the town. Works comprise refurbishment, refit and extension to the listed building, which stands within a conservation area. This includes creation of a new café bar to enhance the theatre and museum experience and the installation of new lifts and a changing places toilet to improve accessibility. The scheme also includes improvements to Corporation Street with new paving and lighting that will revamp this key gateway to the town centre and provide a welcoming environment for visitors to the refurbished theatre and museum. The final project to highlight is the Sherwood Observatory Science Discovery Centre in Sutton in Ashfield, valued at £5 million, which will transform a disused underground Victorian reservoir, dating back to 1880, into an education centre for school and group visits. The scheme will feature an exhibition hall, classroom, a cafe and meeting rooms as well as the state-of-the-art planetarium. It is hoped the new facility will increase annual visitor numbers from 3,000 to 20,000. The company’s strategy has been to concentrate on the public sector, particularly through frameworks, which continues to provide ongoing opportunities in buoyant markets such as education, healthcare and bespoke civic schemes being funded by Government Spending initiatives including Towns Fund, the Levelling Up Agenda and Department for Education. G F Tomlinson is also providing sustainable employment for its local supply chain, helping to generate social, economic and environmental benefits to the surrounding communities in which they work in. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Handling a dispute with your contractor

When you hire a London, Ontario home builder, or a home builder anywhere for that matter, it can be stressful and overwhelming. You are taking a leap to build a custom home, and with that, you probably have some pretty big expectations. That’s normal and expected any time you’re dealing with something as important as where you’re going to live with your family.  There are, at times, disputes that can arise with your contractor, however. This is often a normal part of the process, and it can be because of miscommunication or simply because your contractor doesn’t see the same vision as you.  It’s not necessarily that you should aim to avoid all disputes when you’re building a home because that may not be realistic. What’s more important is how you handle disputes if they do arise.  With that in mind, the following are tips and things to know if you find yourself in a disagreement and you aren’t sure what steps to take.  1. Take a Few Deep Breaths Building a home is stressful and expensive, and that can bring out the worst in homeowners. If you feel your temperature rising with your contractor, before you do anything else, take a step back and give yourself some time for a few deep breaths.  If you respond right away with anger, it can end up creating delays in your project. It can damage your relationship with your contractor going forward, and there may be better solutions that are available.  If you have to step away before you talk to your contractor, do so. It’s never productive to enter into a conversation at the height of your anger.  2. Read Your Contract Once you’ve taken a step back, it’s time to assess the situation. Sometimes, you may be dealing with a contractor who actually is the problem, but there are also situations where there are misunderstandings, and no one is necessarily the “bad guy.”  Before you say anything, go over your contract. Your contract should address all the various aspects of the job. It should include details on the scope of work, the timeline, and the expected completion date, and it should also include a section on the procedure for dealing with disputes.  Keep in mind that even with the best contractors, there are often changes that come up in the middle of the project. This is the nature of construction.  As you’re reading the contract and thinking about what your issue is, you have to ask yourself whether or not it’s something that was unavoidable.  3. Define What Your Issue Is, Specifically Once you’ve gone over your contract, you’ll probably have a better idea of specifically what your issue is and potentially how your contractor has veered away from what you expected.  At this point, think about the issue that you have in specific terms, and write it down. Before you talk to your contractor, you want to be clear with yourself about where you feel like your project went wrong.  If you’ve had previous conflicts with your contractor, don’t bring them up in this conversation. You want to keep things clear and on track.  When you’re writing down your issue, jot down some of the facts of the situation as well.  4. Have a Conversation with Cooperation In Mind When you have a clear head, you can ask your contractor to have a conversation with you.  You want to sit down with just them. You don’t want to get into an argument in front of other people, including their subcontractors and people who work for them.  You want to keep things professional and non-confrontational.  You may find that if you have a conversation, you’re able to work things out with your contractor and come to an agreement or a place of understanding.  A simple conversation can resolve a lot more than you might initially think, especially when miscommunication is involved.  The earlier on you can have an amicable conversation, the better.  It’s very often the case that your contractor is completely unaware that there’s a problem at all.  When you have a conversation, avoid placing blame and make sure that you’re listening. Too often, when we’re frustrated, we’re just waiting for the other person to stop talking without actually listening, so we can jump right back into the conversation and disagree.  Be polite and try to hear what your contractor is saying because you might learn what actually went wrong and be better prepared to come up with ways to fix the issue.  If you can come up with a plan during this conversation, put it in writing. Email a copy of the plan to your contractor and yourself.  5. Out-of-Court Options The hope is that by the time you reach this point, you’ve worked things out with your contractor.  If not, there are still things you can do.  One is hiring a mediator. There are companies that specialize in construction mediation if you feel like things have gone too far, or you’re not going to be able to see eye-to-eye with your contractor.  During mediation, a neutral third party steps in to try and help you reach a resolution.  The downside of mediation is that it’s not binding, so you don’t have to accept the proposed settlement. There’s another option which is binding arbitration.  The last resort should always be court. This will be the most stressful and expensive for everyone involved.  You also have to remember, if you haven’t hired a contractor yet, that if you do your due diligence, you can avoid the risks of working with a bad apple. Most contractors are highly professional and take their work seriously. Do the legwork early on in the hiring process. Check reviews and references and look at the past work of a contractor before making a hiring decision.  Make sure you’re choosing someone who represents themselves professionally, and you’re less likely to find yourself in a situation where they truly aren’t doing what they’re supposed to. 

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Contractor Appointed for Winchester Primary School

Winchester’s first primary academy school is due to be delivered by contractor Willmott Dixon, which was awarded the £8.35 million contract by Hampshire County Council. The new Barton Farm Academy is a single storey two-form entry school that features a main hall, holistic music and drama studio, ‘discovery point’ library, staff room and workspace, administration offices and parent waiting rooms. As a response to the 2,000 new homes that are being built on the Barton Farm site, the Council has decided appoint a contractor and build further school places too. The school will target a BREEAM Excellent energy efficiency rating to provide a sustainable learning environment when it opens in September 2020. “The University is an outstanding provider of teacher education and has a strong track record of raising aspiration among young people. Pupils at the school will benefit from our values-driven ethos, extensive regional school partnerships, our evidence-based learning and teaching, our powerful links with local business and community organisations, and our passionate commitment to social justice and sustainability. The innovative Academy buildings, including state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor learning environments, will also meet our very high standards for sustainability,” said Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University and Chair of the University of Winchester Academy Trust, which will run the school. This project win adds to Willmott Dixon’s recent contract to build the new Winchester Sport and Leisure Park to replace the River Park Leisure Centre. “Willmott Dixon is delighted to be involved in this project. The new school will provide much-needed inspirational learning spaces. We are always delighted to play a part in supporting the learning of the next generation. As will all our projects we aim to leave a positive legacy in the local community and are targeting 140 apprenticeship weeks on the project,” added Richard Poulter, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the Central South. Barton Farm Academy has been designed by Hampshire County Council’s in-house team of architects and landscape designers and meets the highest standards for environmental sustainability and will provide inspiring and creative learning spaces for children to flourish. The new school forms part of the County Council investment in new school places across Hampshire.

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Buckingham Group to Deliver Swansea Scheme

Swansea Council has selected Buckingham Group Contracting as the principal contractor to help deliver the £120 million Swansea Central Phase One transformation under a pre-construction services agreement (PCSA). The contract was awarded after a competitive tender process. The transformation will bring a 3,500-capacity digital indoor arena, a coastal park, digital plaza, landmark pedestrian bridge, new car parking and new homes and premises for retail, food and drink. Buckingham Group will undertake pre-construction services including detailed design, costings and essential preparatory work on the expansive city centre site over six months period. “Buckingham Group Contracting have an outstanding record in successfully delivering major high-profile schemes. Having a company of this calibre working in collaboration with us is another statement of intent; this will be a world-class transformational scheme that will be a catalyst to making Swansea a great 21st century city,” said Rob Stewart, leader of Swansea Council. “Swansea Central Phase One will bring a bright new modern focus to our city; it will mean new opportunities for local people, businesses and major investors. Other regeneration will follow. We have developed a strategy with Buckingham to offer packages of work to sub contractors and trades, many of whom we hop will be local so the benefits of this significant investment will stay within the local economy,” Rob added. The early work will prepare the project and site for the main build phase due to start in late summer this year, with the transformation due to be completed in 2021.

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Visitor Centre Chooses Aggregate Industries Asphalt

Aggregate Industries’ coloured asphalt solution was the choice of Nottinghamshire’s new £5 million Sherwood Forest visitor centre. The project was developed by an RSPB-led consortium and Nottinghamshire County Council and it includes flagship facilities such as a shop, a café with an outside terrace, an amphitheatre as well as a play area for children. The Edwinstowe centre, which opened at the end of August 2018, provides information on the area’s rich wildlife and woodland as well information on the Robin Hood legend. In order to complement the resin bond golden gravel used on the rest of the site, contractors Woodhead Construction and RN Surfacing were required to source asphalt. They selected Aggregate Industries’ SuperColour Ultra. “Due to the high profile nature of this project, it was vital for us to work with a supplier offering innovative asphalt solutions, with extensive colour and performance capabilities. I’d like to thank Aggregate Industries for delivering a first class service throughout – by providing us with bespoke samples of their natural coloured asphalts, we were able to practically test out and decide on the best possible solution to help us meet the client’s unique aesthetic brief,” explained Amy Stamford, Quantity Surveyor at Woodhead Group. The Aggregate Industries solution is a range of distinctly coloured asphalts, which uses a translucent penetration grade, resinous hydrocarbon binder. The special binder is readily pigmented and provides a wide range of asphalt colours. Overall, Aggregate Industries supplied 60 tonnes of SuperColour Ultra in natural colour. “As an area of outstanding beauty, it was important for the new visitor centre at Sherwood Forest Country Park to be in keeping with the natural surroundings, including the materials used for landscaping and surfacing. With a selection of high performance asphalt materials at our disposal, including different colours and performance properties, we’re delighted our bespoke SuperColour Ultra succeeded in achieving the naturally appealing look and superior performance the client was after,” said Victoria Smith, general manager of Express Asphalt at Aggregate Industries.

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Contractor Requirements for Midland Metropolitan Hospital

Any contractor that will get appointed to the stalled Midland Metropolitan hospital project in Sandwell will have to adhere to the requirements that have been set out by construction union Unite. Originally planned to become operational this month, the hospital project has been stalled since the main contractor Carillion collapsed in January 2018 and it is not expected to be completed until at least 2022. In order to ensure workers are treated fairly and not exploited whenever the project resumes, the union wrote to Toby Lewis, chief executive of the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust to seek that any contractor appointed to the project adheres to the following requirements: Adhere to national industrial agreements that govern pay and conditions Use local labour and suppliers Workers are directly employed (not employed under a form of bogus self-employment) Exploitative forms of employment such as umbrella companies are outlawed Trade unions are recognised and are given proper access to the workforce. “Local residents desperately need a new hospital which must become operational as early as possible but this must not be at the expense of the construction workers who will undertake this vitally needed work,” said Unite regional officer Su Lowe. “Exploitation can only be prevented and fair treatment guaranteed by recognising industrial agreements, guaranteeing direct employment and allowing unions proper access to the workforce. Unless workers are treated fairly and decently there is likely to be further problems with the construction of this site, which will create even more delays, causing even greater misery for patients and staff,” So Lowe added. The local NHS Trust is working to appoint a contractor for the project.

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Ibstock Brick Has Reasons to Celebrate the Brick Awards

This year’s Brick Awards saw Ibstock Brick celebrating the success of architects and brick contractors. Three outstanding projects using products from the Ibstock Brick range were named as winners, with a further two projects receiving commendations from the expert judging panel at the annual awards ceremony, organised by the Brick Development Association (BDA). Ibstock Brick also proudly sponsored three awards; Individual Housing Development, Architect’s Choice and Supreme winner. “Each year the standard of entries for the Brick Awards improves. As the market leading brick manufacturer we are delighted to be associated with the celebration of brick as a modern building material. We would like to congratulate everybody involved with the award-winning projects for their success in showcasing how brick can be used within creative and contemporary architecture. Ibstock Brick is committed to providing products which offer design flexibility for the most innovative building facades,” commented Darren Bowkett, Operations Director of Ibstock Brick. Voted by the public from a selection of shortlisted projects in other categories, the Architect’s Choice Award was handed to the BPTW Architects designed project at Creek Road in the heart of Greenwich. The project utilised the Funton Old Chelsea Yellow brick to mirror the existing bricks whilst adding a contemporary twist. The winner in the Education category was Marlborough Primary School (Architect: Dixon Jones), while Royal Albert Wharf was the winner in the Large Housing Development category. Blackfriars Circus also picked up a commendation in this category, with both projects being designed by Maccreanor Lavington. Scala Yard (Architect: DLA Design Group) received a commendation in the Small Housing development category. The winners of the Specialist Brickwork Contractor award, Anglian Brickwork Ltd, used Ibstock Bricks in one of their winning projects at the David Attenborough Building (Architect: Nicholas Hare). Ibstock Brick, part of Ibstock plc, is the biggest manufacturer of clay bricks sold in the UK. With 20 manufacturing plants producing more than 850,000 new bricks per annum, it offers an unrivalled choice of more than 450 different bricks, which includes prefabricated brickwork components, rainscreens and a diverse selection of special shaped bricks and pavers.

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Contractors Announced for Highways England Work

The 13 contractors who will be carrying out up to £8.7 billion worth of work on the national road network have been announced by Highways England. Known as Delivery Integration Partners, the contractors will be part of Highways England’s Regional Delivery Partnership, which encourages companies to improve safety and journeys on roads. “Routes to Market represents a fundamental change in the way we deliver road projects. It will be performance rather than price based, focusing on building the right projects with the best outcomes for road users and the communities we serve. It demands a major step up in our supply chain to embrace innovation and team work, and in their ability to deliver value,” commented Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England Chief Executive. These are the selected contractors and the lots: Lot 1 – South West and Midlands – £200 million – two partners: Geoffrey Osborne; and Griffiths/Farrans Joint Venture (Alun Griffiths (Construction) and Northstone (NI) Limited trading as Farrans Construction); Lot 2 – South East and East – £350 million – two partners: John Graham Construction Ltd; and Volker Fitzpatrick; Lot 3 – North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber – £200 million – two partners: Amey Sir Robert McAlpine Joint Venture (Amey OW and Sir Robert McAlpine); and North Midland Construction; Lot 4 – South West – £800 million – two partners: Galliford Try Infrastructure; and Taylor Woodrow; Lot 5 – Midlands – £1,250 million – two partners: BAM Nuttall; and Skanska Construction UK; Lot 6 – South East – £1,100 million – two partners: BAM Nuttall; and Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering; Lot 7 – East – £2,800 million – three partners: Costain; Galliford Try Infrastructure; and Skanska Construction UK; Lot 8 – North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber – £2,000 million – three partners: Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering; Costain; and Kier Highways. The partnership will help develop, design and construct highway projects across England from 2019 through to 2024.

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UK Contractors Report Increased Order Books

Increased order books for UK contractors haven’t defeated Brexit uncertainty, with high input costs fuelling fears of a subdued and cooling market for the next 12 months, according to the latest quarterly analysis from leading professional services company, Turner & Townsend. The consultancy’s UK market intelligence report finds that order books have increased by 23.4% in the current financial year (2018-19) while contractors indicate that order books for the next financial year (2019-20) are now 17.5% fuller than they were in Q1. However, contractors report that input costs remain stubbornly high and the company’s price data reveals that contractors expect the cost of a representative basket of construction materials to rise by 5.3% in the coming year. The report, which takes the temperature of the industry’s front line, found that in Q2 more than half of the UK contractors surveyed felt the market will continue to cool over the next 12 months. “While there have been some high-profile examples of financial sector giants swapping the City for the Liffey, for now the exodus remains more threat than reality. Clearly it is incorrect to suggest that the interplay between the two cities is a zero-sum game, and that Dublin’s market is heating up in direct inverse proportion to London’s cooling,” said Paul Connolly, UK Managing Director of cost management at Turner & Townsend. Outside of the UK but less than 300 miles from London, Dublin’s construction market is in the midst of a full-scale boom, with bullish sentiment and strong client demand driving up tender prices at well over double the rate seen in the UK capital. Surveyed contractors forecast that tender prices in Dublin will rise by an average of 6.3% in 2018, while those in London forecast a modest 2.5% increase. “However, a surge in relocation interest has undoubtedly turbo-charged Dublin’s construction market, and it now risks overheating with the city facing the prospect of acute skills shortages and rapid price inflation. While Brexit itself is likely to impact on both sides of the Irish Sea, for now the uncertainty over the nature of the UK departure from the EU is taking a far greater toll in London than in Dublin,” added Paul. The gulf in construction fortunes between the two cities is most stark in terms of market sentiment. Nearly two thirds (63.6%) of contractors in Dublin report that their market is improving and getting warmer compared to just 21.1% of respondents in London. 26.8 percent of contractors expect to see the London market cool. “In challenging markets like London, clients must face down multiple, fast-moving threats with equally agile procurement and project management strategies. The most obvious issue to be confronted is supply chain strain. Clients must remain vigilant and in practical terms, this means re-running credit checks and challenging suppliers on their ability to continue delivering, while also seeking to understand and allay their concerns,” concluded Paul.  

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Gilbert-Ash Announces Its Successful Financial Year

Gilbert-Ash, the leading UK construction, refurbishment and fit out contractor, has announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017, which confirm a 50% increase in pre-tax profits, reaching over £2 million, up from £1.4 million in 2016. Additionally, the contractor reported an overall turnover of £165.5 million, an increase from £148 million in the previous year. Having worked on several landmark buildings in the UK across a range of niche sectors, Gilbert-Ash managed to drive financial turnover and growth. Some of the company’s prestigious work includes the £19.5 million Cambridge Mosque project, the £21.5 million build of the AC Marriott Hotel in Belfast, as well as the award-winning City of London Freemen’s School swimming pool and the £20.5 million new build of the renowned Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts with Dame Judi Dench at the helm as President. “Whilst market conditions remain highly competitive, the results emphasise the continued success of our strategy to focus on our strengths and invest in national and international markets to deliver landmark buildings. Gilbert-Ash is an employee owned company which certainly leads to a unique working culture and family environment, and the results are in no small part down to this environment and ‘can do’ attitude of our dedicated team. We have had the privilege of working with excellent clients, partners and suppliers, and we really do work as one to deliver innovative, bespoke buildings across the landscape,” commented Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director, Gilbert-Ash. The company is a trusted partner and strong client relationships have led to significant repeat business, including a relationship with Foreign and Commonwealth Office spanning over 20 years and 43 countries, including work in France, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Hungary in 2017. Another one of Gilbert-Ash’s achievements for the year is being recognised within the industry by winning the coveted ‘Contractor of the Year’ title in the UK Construction News Awards.

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