Rivals eye Manc Uni job

CONTRACTS MANCHESTER

ANOTHER education deal in Manchester is up for grabs as four firms swot up to price a £45 million nursing school on the city's Oxford Road.

The work is part of Project Unity, the code name given to last autumn's merger of Manchester University and city rival UMIST to form the new University of Manchester.

Amec, HBG, Laing O'Rourke and Sir Robert McAlpine are all pricing the Student Centre and Nursing School, which will comprise a 1,000-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, catering facilities and accommodation.

Along with Interserve the four are part of a shortlist drawn up by the new university to bid for a series of jobs masterplanned by architect Terry Farrell and worth a total of £160 million.

The university will then select which of the five will be invited to tender for each individual job.

One contractor said: 'We're in the hat but it's up to the client what we're offered from that.As long as we're given a chance on the biggest jobs we'll be happy.'

The nursing school is the biggest deal being developed under the project.Work will start this spring and finish in 2007.

Further contracts being planned include a £35 million wing for the Biosciences Research Building, a £20 million School of Science, a £10 million School of Medicine, a £7.7 million car park, a £6 million School of Chemistry and £3 million-worth of teaching laboratories.

Another contract is the £34.5 million Astronomy, Mathematics, Physics and Photon Science building, on which Amec, HBG, Interserve and Sir Robert McAlpine are all bidding.Work on this job will start in October and finish in summer 2007.

Nearly 60,000 sq m of space will eventually be created by the merger, running across two campuses for 30,000 students.

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