Three in race for bank data centre

CONTRACTS - BASINGSTOKE

AN INTERNATIONAL investment bank has shor tlisted three contractors to build it a huge data centre in Hampshire.

JP Morgan, the bank's UK arm, will choose a winner over the next few weeks from bidders Bovis Lend Lease, Laing O'Rourke and Mace.

All three submitted their bids at the beginning of the month and last week headed to JP Morgan's UK headquarters in London for interviews.

JP Morgan Chase, based in New York, is one of the world's biggest finance groups with assets of around US$1.2 trillion. The company has recently stopped outsourcing its computers and technology work in the UK and needs new capacity to store its records.

One of the main projects is the £45 million data centre in Basingstoke.

One contractor said: 'It's a great project but it meant Christmas and the New Year has been hectic in order to get everything together.

'Last week was the really big rush as we got our heads down ready for the interview.

'There was a lot of interest in the contract so it's good to get on the shortlist and hopefully we'll impress during the interviews and presentations.' Neither the contractors nor JP Morgan were able to give any details of what the building would comprise but it is known that it will be a new build and should take less than a year to finish.

The bank wants work to start in around six weeks' time.

Another contractor said: 'We are pricing it, but we can't say anything more than that.

'When you've got a chance of a deal with a client like this you don't go spouting off until the job is done and you've packed your tools up.

'And even then you only say it was all very nice thank you very much and hope for some more work.' JP Morgan declined to comment.

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