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Bids begin for major Scottish university contract

Big name contractors are lining up for the chance to build the eye catching Technology and Innovation Centre for Strathclyde University.

The university plans to spend more than £89 million on the landmark development and at least four firms are set to be invited to tender.

Bam Construct, John Sisk and Son, Morgan Sindall and Sir Robert McAlpine are expected to bid for a single stage design and build contract which is likely to be worth in the region of £60m, Construction News understands.

Plans for the high tech campus were given the green light by Glasgow City Council last week.

Designed by architect BDP, the 25,000 square metre centre will house more than 1200 researchers from the university and its partners in both the public and private sectors including ScottishPower, the Weir Group and Rolls-Royce.

University of Strathclyde principal Professor Jim McDonald said the scheme would attract “major inward investment to the city”.

Researchers based at the TIC will focus on tackling climate change, disease and the need for fresh drinking water across the globe.

Speaking last week as the scheme was granted planning, Colin Hood, chair of the Technology and Innovation Centre’s Industry Advisory Board, said: “This news is a welcome boost for not only the University of Strathclyde and the city of Glasgow, but for Scotland as a whole.

“It will bring with it a fresh way of thinking by opening new avenues of research and collaboration, creating significant benefits for the economy and the city.

“The project is gathering pace and will without doubt strengthen Scotland’s reputation for its contribution to innovation and high quality research.”

In addition a 5000 sq m Industry Engagement Building, which will be located adjacent to the University’s TIC and will accommodate around 500 occupants, has also secured planning permission.

Advanced works to prepare the Merchant City site are expected to begin early next month with the completion date for the centre estimated to be early 2014.

The contract is one of the biggest currently out to tender in Scotland and competition for the job is expected to be fierce.