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Bovis wins case to take £100m courts project

CONTRACTS MANCHESTER

BOVIS Lend Lease has claimed a £100 million contract to build the largest judicial building for more than a century.

The firm has defeated a challenge from the sole remaining opposition, Carillion, to become preferred bidder for the deal to build the new Civil Justice Centre in Manchester's Spinningfields district. It is understood the project will be the largest of its type since the construction of the Royal Courts of Justice in London in the 1870s.

HBG, Mowlem, Skanska and Sir Robert McAlpine also showed early interest in the scheme.

The Court Service has appointed Allied London as developer for the project. Allied will lease the building back to the Court Service over 25 years.

A project source said: 'It is similar to a Private Finance Initiative scheme but with a long-term lease instead. The difference is that this contract will not include any facilities management services. It is about delivering a robust building up-front.'

The 120,000 sq m development will include 60 rooms for civil courts, as well as administration offices. The centre will replace seven sites scattered around the city as part of the Court Service's estates rationalisation programme. Carillion is already working for the Court Service in Manchester on a £30 million PFI deal to build a new magistrates' court with Group 4 and investment bank Societe Generale.

Work on site is planned to begin in June, with construction expected to last two years.