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Major construction projects

Image Credit: Hayes Davidson

Major construction projects for technology and science-based clients - particularly in the data and digital sectors - are creating a growing source of tender opportunities for the industry.

When the UK’s largest structural steel fabricator, Severfield, recently unveiled results, it pointed to a series of contracts from hi-tech firms and research-based organisations which had helped it to maintain its £237 million order book.

These included the £50 million-plus steel contract for Google’s new £1 billion hq at King’s Cross where construction work started on the 11-storey building at the end of last year and is set to continue until 2021 (Glenigan Project ID 10394495). Severfield is also supplying the steel on the new £700 million Engineering Campus Development at Manchester University (Glenigan Project ID 13062634).

Data opportunities

Data centres was one of the areas providing tender opportunities for Severfield and making it confident of further progress in 2019. The firm is finding that whilst the market for data centres and industrial and distribution is strong, pricing remains competitive.

Glenigan’s Construction market analysis highlights various data centre projects in the pipeline around the country which offer significant construction tender opportunities. Cloud HQ has recently submitted a pre-application screening programme for a huge £195 million project involving two data centres covering 37,000 sq m at Abingdon in Oxfordshire on land to the west of Didcot B. Work could start in summer 2019 (Glenigan Project ID 18203036).

Elsewhere, detailed plans have been submitted by NS Land & Properties for a £31.6 million data centre at Eurolink Business Park in Sittingbourne, Kent where work is expected to start in mid-2019 (Glenigan Project ID 18225996). Meanwhile work is set to start next spring on a £7 million industrial & data centre for Mulberry Developments at New Frontiers Science Park in Harlow (Glenigan Project ID 17072535).

Life sciences and pharmaceutical businesses are also investing in new buildings. A contract has recently been awarded for a new £5.8 million industrial building extension for Napp/Bard Pharmaceuticals on the Cambridge Science Park where Lendlease is the design & build contractor and work is set to start in early 2019 (Glenigan Project ID 12391243.) Meanwhile, tenders are currently being invited for a £5 million manufacturing/laboratory complex for Shasun Pharma Solutions at Dudley in Northampton.

Nuclear potential

Tender opportunities are also emerging on advanced nuclear technology energy projects. Construction work on a £250 million marine tunnel contract at Hinkley Point C is due to start this autumn. It is one of the major civil engineering projects which should contribute to the 8% rise in the value of new construction project starts in the sector in 2018, which Glenigan Index is now forecasting.

Contractors are also showing interest in the potential tender opportunities on the £2 billion Sizewell C in Suffolk (Glenigan Project ID 01611167).

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