The future of Northern Ireland’s massive civil estate outsourcing contract, Workplace 2010, is hanging in the balance.

The news comes after one of the two final bidders, Telereal, completed its deal to buy out its rival Land Securities Trillium for £750m this week.

Procurement activity was already suspended last year when the deal between the bidders looked likely.

A spokesman said: ‘Procurement activity for the Workplace 2010 contract was suspended on 31st October 2008 as a result of continuing speculation that both Workplace 2010 Bidders could come under common ownership.'

This was confirmed on 8 January 2009, when Land Securities announced that agreement had been reached for the sale of their Trillium business to Telereal.

‘The department is now considering this latest development before making recommendations on how best to proceed. The department continues to affirm the importance of the Workplace 2010 principles, and the Northern Ireland Civil Service remains committed to creating a modern, flexible working environment that will enable the delivery of better public services.’