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Exam in progress for £18m centre

Contracts MANCHESTER

FOUR contractors return tenders tomorrow (Friday) for the first phase of a development at Manchester University worth £36 million in total.

Amec, Bovis Lend Lease, HBG and Sir Robert McAlpine are all under the microscope for the opportunity to build the £18 million first stage of a biomedical research building. Carillion and Shepherd missed out. The university will now choose a preferred contractor to go on to a second stage of negotiations in autumn.

The winning contractor will start on site in either November or February, depending on whether the university decides to package the enabling works contract separately or with the main deal.

Work will also include a substantial M&E package, for which Amec is joined by Drake and Scull, Bovis Lend Lease with Shepherd Engineering Services, HBG with Haden Young and Sir Robert McAlpine with NG Bailey.

The successful contractor will pick up the option to build the second phase of the development, also valued at £18 million.

Bids for a similar scheme to upgrade Napier University in Edinburgh will also be returned tomorrow.

Scottish firm Melville Dundas is up against Balfour Beatty, HBG, Carillion and Ballast for a £16 million business school at the university's Craiglockhart campus.

Project manager Bovis Lend Lease is expected to choose a preferred contractor to go through to a second stage of negotiations by the end of the month. Site work will start in early 2002 for completion in July 2003.