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Laing dominates ProCure 21 work

Regional success allows contractor to build a lead across England in health framework with over £1 billion of work

As the Scottish Government prepares to roll out a national framework for hospital building, Construction News research shows just how dominant Laing O’Rourke has been in the English ProCure 21 programme it was based on.

Ray O’Rourke had only just taken over at Laing in December 2001 when the firm embarked on bidding for a place on a £300 million pilot of ProCure 21.

In April 2002 the firm was chosen along with Interserve, Costain, Norwest Holst and Pearce’s Medicor consortium to trial ProCure 21 in two pilot regions, the North-west and West Midlands.

Having won this place Laing O’Rourke wasted little time cementing its position as the leading ProCure 21 contractor, so it was little surprise when the firm was one of 12 chosen to take part in the national roll out of the framework in 2003.

The last time Construction News looked at how work was being divided up between the national firms, in September 2004, Laing O’Rourke was already head-and-shoulders above its rivals.

Now our new analysis of the latest data published by the Department of Health’s ProCure 21 team shows how Laing O’Rourke has stretched this lead. It has bagged a staggering £1,055 million of ProCure 21 work, more than £700 million more than second placed Interserve.

A detailed examination of where the work was being won shows how Laing has built up this position, with the firm sitting as the most successful ProCure 21 firm in the North-west, South-west and West Midlands.

These regions are among those that have seen the greatest spend under the programme, so by targeting them Laing has secured itself the lion’s share of national workloads.

But that is not to say that Ray O’Rourke’s firm rules the roost across England. In the east of the country the firm is pushed back into fourth place with Medicinq, a consortium of Osborne, Midas and Simons, top.

The South central and Yorkshire and Humber regions were both topped by HBG, the latter in no small part thanks to the contractor’s work with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The 14 ProCure 21 deals agreed between the pair is a record for the programme and represents precisely the kind of long-term relationship between contractor and client that it was hoped that ProCure 21 would encourage.

Along with Interserve and HBG, Laing O’Rourke has also added to its ProCure 21 success in England with a place on Designed for Life, the Welsh Assembly Government’s equivalent for Wales.

Now the soon to be launched Scottish hospital building framework calls for contractors that have the capability to work across Scotland.

This will certainly play into the hands of existing ProCure 21 firms such as Balfour Beatty, Sir Robert McAlpine - part of Integrated Healthcare Projects - and HBG, all of whom have significant operations in Scotland and will fancy themselves as contenders.

But, having established itself a significant foothold on the Scottish healthcare market through the £300 million Forth Valley hospital project in Larbert, the question seems to be whether anyone can stop the UK’s largest private contractor ruling the roost in Scotland as it has with ProCure 21 in England.

To down load a break down of the ProCure 21 regions click the resource box on the right hand side