Three Construction companies share £400 million Public Health Science Headquaters in Harlow Essex

23 Jan 2018

Three of the UK’s leading construction companies have been chosen to create Public Health England’s (PHE) new state-of-the-art public health science campus and headquarters at Harlow, Essex.


They have been selected to deliver the four key elements of the £400m capital spend programme to create the campus. This includes building and refurbishing new and existing laboratories and office areas; construction of a new arrivals area and logistics centre; and site-wide infrastructure including car parking.


The appointments, creating thousands of construction-related jobs, sees the end of an 18-month procurement process, with work expected to start next month.


The successful companies bid for four lots:


Lot 1 – New build of specialist bioscience laboratory building – Kier Group


Lot 2 – Refurbishment of main building, including laboratories and offices – Wates Construction


Lot 3 – Arrivals, administration and logistics buildings – Wates Construction


Lot 4 – Site-wide infrastructure, external works and energy centre – VolkerFitzpatrick (Royal VolkerWessels)


The appointment of all three contractors provides a boost to local employment - particularly in the case of VolkerFitzpatrick, whose head office is located in the neighbouring town of Hoddesdon.


The next steps will see the contractors working with the existing design teams and preparing the site for major construction. This is planned to start in 2019, with phased occupation starting in 2021.


PHE Harlow, as the campus will be known, is expected to employ up to 2,750 people by 2024, with scope for further expansion.


Facilities from Porton in Wiltshire and Colindale in north London, as well as PHE’s central London headquarters, will be relocated to the single centre of excellence for public health research, health improvement and protection.


The campus is critical to the future of PHE, ensuring we will be able to use the latest scientific advances to deliver our world-leading science and evidence for issues such as smoking, alcohol, diabetes, dementia, infectious diseases, environmental hazards and climate change nationally and internationally.


Richard Gleave, PHE Deputy Chief Executive, said: “PHE is delighted to have secured three of the leading construction companies in the UK to deliver what will be a world-leading national and international resource.


“Much of the work to create PHE Harlow is highly specialised so it’s especially pleasing to have secured three of the best companies in their fields to deliver that work. This is yet another milestone for PHE and we can now look forward to the chosen contractors coming on board and bringing their considerable wealth of experience and skills to our programme.


“We are also delighted at the very significant opportunities that the construction of PHE Harlow will offer in the surrounding area.”


Nigel Brook, Kier Group Executive Director, Construction and Infrastructure Services, said: “This £160 million project is another significant award for Kier in bioscience, building on our track record as a specialist delivery partner in the sector with projects including biomedical research facilities for The University of Cambridge with Project Capella and the Sainsbury laboratory as well as the state-of-the-art Derriford Research Facility for Plymouth University.


“We’re looking forward to providing a state-of-the-art facility which will help Public Health England to keep improving the nation’s health and wellbeing.”


Ian Vickers, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Home Counties commented: “PHE Harlow will play a pivotal role in improving public health, providing state-of-the-art facilities for industry-leading scientists and doctors to address some of the most pressing medical and environmental challenges the world is currently facing.


“It is therefore a particular privilege for Wates to be awarded two of the four lots. It is also a huge responsibility, and over the next year we will be working closely with PHE and other partners as we prepare to start on site in early 2019.” 


Richard Offord, Managing Director of VolkerFitzpatrick said: “We are delighted to be working with PHE on such a forward-thinking project. The new public health science campus will support the growth of the local area and we are looking forward to starting work on this exciting opportunity.”

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