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Exclusive: Contractors shortlisted for £1bn Cambridge Uni development

The University of Cambridge has shortlisted 18 contractors for the first phase of its £1bn North West Cambridge Development.

A total of 35 contractors prequalified to work on the £1bn scheme, which will create a residential-led extension to the city, with 3,000 homes in the masterplan.

North West Cambridge construction director Gavin Heaphy told Construction News it has shortlisted 18 contractors that it is tendering or intends to tender with later this year for the first £280m phase of work.

Among the contractors are Bam Construct, Galliford Try, Kier, Wates and Willmott Dixon, as well as regional contractors including Barnes Construction and RG Carter.

Phase one is divided into nine lots of work, plus an infrastructure and two public realm packages.

Skanska was selected as preferred bidder to deliver the £50m infrastructure package in March and signed the contract earlier this month.

Willmott Dixon has been appointed to build a £10m three-form entry primary school, which will be the first primary-level university training school in England delivering teacher training and research as well as teaching 3 to 11-year-olds.

The next package of work to start on site will be lots one and three, which have been combined into one £80m package of work to be awarded imminently.

Galliford Try, Graham Construction, RG Carter and Wates are bidding for a £25m student accommodation block comprising 325 units, according to construction information unit Glenigan.

Meanwhile RG Carter and Willmott Dixon are tendering for a 73-unit affordable housing complex worth £12m, according to Glenigan.

Mr Heaphy said up to 10 contractors would work on the £1bn scheme and stressed the importance of successful teams being able to work side by side and co-ordinate their activities.

Phase one of the development will develop a new urban centre with community amenities as well as almost 1,000 homes, of which just over half will be affordable homes for university staff.

Later phases of the scheme will include two clusters of academic and research facilities integrated with the community, plus additional housing.

Mr Heaphy said: “Cambridge itself has a very tight and very constrained residential market. If you haven’t got somewhere decent to live, the postgraduates and postdoctorates will vote with their feet and go somewhere else.

“It’s a global market for the best brains and being able to give people a great place to live in addition to all the opportunities for research and academic progression, makes [Cambridge] a very compelling argument.”

Contractors tendering for the North West Cambridge Development

  • Bam Construct
  • Barnes Construction
  • Bouygues
  • Brookfield Multiplex
  • Farrans Construction
  • Galliford Try
  • Graham Construction
  • Higgins Construction
  • Hill
  • John Sisk & Son
  • Kier
  • Lindum Group
  • Mansell Homes
  • RG Carter
  • Skanska
  • Vinci
  • Wates
  • Willmott Dixon

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