CONSTRUCTION work has stopped on Salford’s luxury £70m ‘twin towers’ building.

Developer Elliot Group confirmed that it has "called a moratorium" on ‘The Residence’ project – their first in Greater Manchester – following the arrest of its owner in December.

Elliot Lawless was arrested along with Liverpool Council regeneration chief Nick Kavanagh on suspicion of fraud, the Liverpool Echo reported. Mr Lawless has strongly denied the allegations.

In a statement, an Elliot Group spokesperson said: “We have called a moratorium whilst we finalise funding for the project’s build-out, a task that has been made more difficult, of course, by the police’s on-going investigation. 

“Institutional funds are waiting for the investigation’s conclusion before re-engaging with us so we are writing to the scheme’s original investors this week to request that they bring forward their final payments, which will enable us to complete the project.  

“In essence, we’re asking them to make a payment off their balance each quarter for the next year and will pay them interest on each deposit.  It’s not extra cash, just what they had agreed to at the outset, but on an accelerated timetable.”

In December, officers swooped on a plush city centre apartment before confirming a 32-year-old man and a 50-year-old city council worker had been arrested on suspicion of a range of fraud, bribery, corruption and misconduct offences, the Echo reported.

Mr Lawless has since strenuously denied the allegations and neither he nor the council official have been charged with any offence, with both subject to an investigation by Merseyside Police. Mr Kavanagh has not commented publicly since his arrest

In January, it was revealed the Elliot Group has agreed with contractors Vermont to suspend work on two projects in Liverpool, but the developer stressed that work “remain[ed] ongoing” at all other live sites.

The Residence will see 300 plush flats built in the Greengate area of Salford which sits next to Manchester city centre. Designs show two towers – one scaling 34 storeys, the other 15 – overlooking the River Irwell.