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Contractors picked for £400mn Public Health England HQ

A new science hub that was approved by Harlow Council last month is set to create thousands of construction jobs for the town.

The hub will be the national centre for Public Health England’s (PHE) research, training and administrative functions.

Main construction work will start next year with the campus set to be fully operational by 2023.

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

Three contactors have been selected to deliver the four key elements of the £400mn 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.

PHE claim that the appointment of the three contractors to undergo the construction of the site will be a huge boost to local employment, particularly with the selection of local firm VolkerFitzPatrick, whose main office is in neighbouring Hoddesdon.

Kier has won the first lot, a £160mn deal to deliver a specialist bioscience laboratory with a gross internal area of 17,000sqm.

The new building will be comprised of specialist bioscience laboratories with associated support facilities, including its own dedicated energy centre and external works.

Nigel Brook, Kier Executive Director, Construction and Infrastructure Services, said: “This £160mn project is another significant award for Kier in bioscience, building on our track record as a specialist delivery partner in the sector.

“We can expect to see specialist sectors continuing to play a key role in the construction market in 2018, whether this is bioscience thanks to strong Government stimulus and funding through the new industrial strategy, to student accommodation due to a buoyant higher education market, through to sectors like industrial that have gained stimulus following the marked fall in Sterling.”

Lot 2, the refurbishment of the main building, including laboratories and offices, was won by Wates Construction, which also won Lot 3, the arrivals, administration and logistics buildings.

VolkerFitzpatrick, won Lot 4, the civil engineering works for site-wide infrastructure, external works and an energy centre.

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