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Ash takes hospital

CONTRACTS - BELFAST

NORTHERN Irish contractor Gilbert Ash is on course to bag a £45 million health deal in Belfast.

The firm defeated bids from five local rivals to win the first phase of the deal, a £4.5 million renal unit and a £10 million maternity unit. Tracey Brothers, McLaughlin & Harvey, Farrans, Pattons and a joint venture between Graham Construction and H&J Martin were all ruled out by Ulster Hospitals and Community Health and Social Services Trust.

The big prize, a £30 million critical care unit, will also go to Gilbert Ash if negotiations over the next nine months go to plan.

Gilbert Ash's team includes services contractor R&F Mechanical, groundworks specialist Outdoor Services and local electrical outfit Dowds.Work on the first phase will start in March.