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£90m Center Parcs tender down to four

The race to build a £90 million Center Parcs holiday development in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, is now down to four contractors, Construction News has learned.

Six companies initially expressed an interest in the scheme but just four were invited for interview late last month.

The four interviewed firms include Kier, Sir Robert McAlpine, Bowmer and Kirkland and ISG Jackson. The two firms no longer in the hunt are Balfour Beatty and Bam Construct.

The site would become the fifth Center Parcs Forest Holiday Village to be built in the UK after it was awarded planning by Central Bedfordshire Council early this year.

The award followed more than six years of delay after permission was initially refused by Mid Bedfordshire District Council on the grounds the project breached green belt rules.

Hazel Blears, the communities secretary at the time, overruled the decision on the grounds the economic and employment benefits outweighed the risk to the green belt.

As part of the section 106 agreement, Center Parcs agreed to improve local road junctions to smooth access to the site. It also agreed to a local employment strategy, local purchasing policy and a forest and ecology masterplan.

A Center Parcs spokesman said the job would be split between three main contracts and that at this stage none of them had been let.

* Construction News top 2011 stories

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