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Four chase £100m student village

CONTRACTS - BRISTOL

FOUR firms are hoping to take top honours in the race for a £100 million student housing deal in Bristol.

Carillion, HBG, Laing O'Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine submit bids later this month for the scheme, which will create a 3,000 bedroom student village for the University of the West of England. The first stage of the two phase project is valued at around £60 million.

The winner of the first of the two packages will put up 1,450 student rooms, together worth £40 million, at the university's Frenchay campus.

Other work includes a new sports hall and an £11 million multi-storey car park.

A winner is expected next month to allow work to start on site in August.

The first student rooms are due to be completed in June 2005, with a phased handover up to early 2007.University planners aim to open the car park in December 2006, adding much-needed capacity to the suburban campus, which is located on the north-eastern edge of Bristol.

The second phase of the work covers 1,550 rooms with some retail space being included. A timetable for this part of the work has still to be decided.