Five compete for Daresbury science park contract

Michael Hunt

Five tenders have been shortlisted to develop the next phase of the Daresbury Science and Innovation campus in Cheshire.

They are the following:

  • British Land
  • Goodmans
  • Igloo
  • Langtree
  • Quantum (joint venture with Aviva)

Martin Mellor, board director of Langtree, said: "We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the next stage of the tendering process to identify a joint venture partner for the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, and look forward to submitting more detailed solutions for consideration."

The five tenders have been selected by the campus partners, North West Development Agency, Science and Technology Facilities Council and Halton Borough Council, following the return of pre-qualification questionnaires.

Each will be invited to submit more detailed information on their proposals before a final selection is made at the end of the year on two or three tenders to go forward into the final stage of the process.

The final shortlist of two or three tenders is expected to be made late in the year, with the final tender selected and the joint venture operational by May 2010.

The announcement follows the news that the construction of the 36,000 sq ft 'grow-on' laboratory building at Daresbury, Vanguard House, will start in January 2010.

The North West Development Agency stepped in to rescue the scheme after the original developer, St Modwen, said it would not be able to fulfil a development contract it won in 2008 due to the financial constraints brought about by the recession. St Modwen was due to deliver Vanguard House, as the first phase of a £25m contract to construct 200,000 sq ft.

The new development will be adjacent to the existing Daresbury Innovation Centre, the Cockcroft Institute (the National Centre for Accelerator Science) and the STFC Daresbury Laboratory.

The funding for the new building will take the NWDA investment on the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus to over £67m.

The joint venture is designed to provide facilities management and other services to the campus and realise commercial services and investment opportunities with occupiers.

Daresbury is a collaboration with Science & Technology Facilities Council, Halton Borough Council and the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster.

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