Manchester University campus aerial

Three contractors named on £1bn campus framework

Paul Unger

Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine have been picked by the University of Manchester to deliver the bulk of its £1bn estates programme.

The three secured places on the framework contract to deliver the majority of the university’s capital projects in excess of £10m over the next eight years.

The contractors will work on a number of major developments, including the £350m Manchester Engineering Campus Development, designed by Dutch architect Mecanoo, which will bring together the university’s four Schools of Engineering in one location and also provide teaching and office space.

In the second phase, from 2018 to 2022, proposals will include the biomedical campus which started in phase one; remodelling of the Stopford building and improved frontage, refurbishment of the Zochonis and Dover Street Buildings; also refurbishments within engineering and physical sciences and non-faculty refurbishments; continued work on the university library from phase one.

Diana Hampson, director of estates and facilities, said: “This construction partnering framework is probably unique within higher education. The scope and scale of the campus masterplan requires a huge amount of resource and presents significant delivery challenges. A collaborative, partnership arrangement was therefore vital in ensuring both quality and value.

“It will benefit all partners and importantly it will have environmental as well as social benefits such as providing training and creating jobs for unemployed people. We are looking forward to working closely with the three contractors on some landmark developments across our campus.”

Jon Adams, Balfour Beatty managing director for Northern major projects, said: “We applaud the University of Manchester for their innovative and ground breaking procurement route which enables delivery of best value and we look forward to working collaboratively with them on a framework which will see over £1bn of new university buildings delivered to create a state-of-the-art campus in Manchester. Our start-to-finish infrastructure capabilities, from design through to piling, construction and mechanical and electrical services enables us to meet the demands of this framework which will provide an improved built environment for the 40,000 students the university serves.”

Steve Coleby, leader for Laing O’Rourke Construction UK, said: “Laing O’Rourke is delighted to be partnering with the University of Manchester on this significant and transformative programme. The values underpinning the construction partnering framework align well to ours and will help ensure all partners drive – and importantly share – innovation and best practice for the benefit of the university and its stakeholders, while we deliver a world-class campus.”

Richard McAlpine, director of Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “We share with the university a passion for innovation and a commitment to providing world class facilities which inspire future generations to push the boundaries of what is possible.”

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