Companies line up for UK university project

By Neill Barston04 September 2014

The North West Cambridge development will cover a 15-hectare site

The North West Cambridge development will cover a 15-hectare site

Cambridge University, in the UK, is finalising tenders for the first phase of a £1 billion investment (€1.25 billion) in new research facilities, housing and public amenities.

The scheme, which the largest venture in its 800-year history, will create more than 3,000 homes including accommodation for staff and students.

Set in a 150-hectare site of university-owned farmland near the M11 motorway, the North West Cambridge project also involves development of community facilities including a primary school and retail units.

A total of 18 companies are shortlisted for work on the €280 million initial phase of the scheme, which had gained outline planning permission in 2013. It will include the construction of 1,000 homes.

Among the companies bidding for works are Bam, Bouygues, Galliford Try, Kier and Willmott Dixon.

Skanska has gained a £49.9 million (€62.47 million) site infrastructure contract for the first phase of the project, which is set for completion in 2017.

One of the key features of the initial works is the creation of what is thought to be the largest rainwater recycling system in the country.

The primary school for the site, designed by Marks Barfield Architects, is scheduled to be among the first of the scheme’s elements to be constructed. It is planned to open in September 2015 and will be the first primary level university training school in England.

The construction director of the development, Gavin Heaphy, said, “The university’s investment in infrastructure reflects the deep commitment to creating a high quality urban development that will benefit not only the future residents, but also neighbouring communities.

“The complex logistics behind the infrastructure, coupled with the ambitious levels of sustainability, make this a great opportunity for Skanska to join the team and work with us to create a lasting legacy for the University and the wider area.”

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