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Four seek to profit from the appliance of science

CONTRACTS MANCHESTER

FOUR firms are totting up bids for a £35 million education deal in Manchester.

Amec, Interserve, HBG and Sir Robert McAlpine have all been shortlisted to revamp the Schuster Laboratories on the city's Oxford Road for Manchester University.

The deal will refurbish and extend the building to accommodate facilities from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, which is being merged with the main city university.

Under existing plans, new buildings nearby will provide a mathematics facility and new laboratories for a Photon Science Institute.

The overhaul will allow the Schuster Laboratories complex to house all of the expanded university's astronomy, mathematics, physics and photon science departments.

Bids are due in next week and work will start on site in October, with completion scheduled for July 2007.