Construction fast-tracked for UK vaccine centre

By Mike Hayes21 April 2020

Impression of the under-construction Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire, UK

Impression of the under-construction Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire, UK

Harwell Construction has begun a rapidly accelerated construction programme on a new vaccines research and production facility in Oxfordshire, UK.

The contractor broke ground ahead of schedule on the state-of-the-art Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) at Harwell Campus, which is now expected to be operational by 2021, a year ahead of schedule.

Ground works on the site of the 7,000m2 facility began in April, including site clearance and the early order of steelwork, and Glencar says the basebuild could be ready for fit-out by July this year.

Cliff Dare, chief operating officer of Harwell Campus Management team and development manager for the VMIC build, said, “It is essential that we continue to fast track this project of national importance, bringing the facility into operation as quickly as possible.

“This is not a straightforward build and fit out; it is a complex advanced centre of technology and that throws up its own particular challenges. One way we are addressing this is by looking at novel strategies for developing fit out/technologies, including off-site manufacture that will sit within the building to be developed alongside groundworks.”

Although the total build cost of the centre has not been reported, the Centre’s main funding comes through a £65 million (€74.5 million) grant from UK Research and Innovation, as part of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

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