International project office for Jodrell Bank

Contractor John Turner has won a £1.9m contract with Manchester University to build new offices at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

The 13,500 sq ft offices, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, will be used as the headquarters for the Square Kilometre Array project, a €1.5bn radio telescope planned for Australia, New Zealand or South Africa. The Cheshire HQ will employ 65 staff.

John Turner said the project is the first to be tendered under the university's new construction works framework drawn up in November 2011. The offices are due for completion in October.

The design, construction and fit out of the single storey office building includes administration and academic offices, meeting and conference rooms, break out areas, reception area, library, exhibition space, server room, storage spaces, car parking and landscaped areas.

John Turner and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios also delivered the Discovery Centre at Jodrell Bank last year.

The new office building is designed to achieve at least a 'very good' BREEAM rating.

John Clarke, managing director for John Turner, said "We are delighted to be returning to Jodrell Bank to construct the new SKA Project Office, which was awarded through our place on the University of Manchester's Construction Works Framework. Having successfully completed the Discovery Centre project, including the Space and Planet Pavilions, we are well aware of the sensitive nature of this high profile site."

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