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Wates wins £60m Birmingham Uni research centre

Exclusive: The University of Birmingham has appointed Wates to build a new £60m research facility, part-funded by Rolls-Royce.

The High Temperature Research Centre will incorporate industrial work areas, technical laboratories and office spaces to provide world-leading research and teaching to university students.

The 13-month contract covers the design and build of the 5,850 sq m facility, a car park and service and waste areas on the site at Ansty Business Park, Coventry.

It is being funded by a £40m investment by Rolls-Royce and a £20m contribution from the Higher Education Funding Council for England through the UK Research Partnerships Investment Fund.

Construction intelligence provider Glenigan said Galliford Try, Interserve and Vinci had all been in the running for the scheme.

The University of Birmingham expects to receive an additional £10m of private sector revenue through research programmes from industry over the first five years of operation.

Wates Construction Midlands and North managing director Phil Harrison said the “world-leading facility” would become a flagship development for the university that would “significantly contribute to fast and flexible design and manufacturing development on a national and global scale”.

Among the contracts to have been awarded by the university recently was a £42m student accommodation deal given to Balfour Beatty in November.

The 726-bed Chamberlain Halls project involves the demolition and rebuilding of the existing Eden Tower and design and build of a 20-storey tower and three buildings on Church Road in Edgbaston.

Interserve announced in January it had won a £55m contract to build a new sports centre at the University.

Mr Harrison said the appointment was testament to Wates’ reputation as a respected contractor. “I am delighted that we have been entrusted with the task of bringing this exceptional development to life.”


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