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In Focus: The latest UK construction industry news, September 2006

Laing O’Rourke scoops £40m Southampton Hotel deal

Work is due to begin next month on Southampton’s first waterfront hotel, with Laing O’Rourke beating off competition from rivals Carillion and Alfred McAlpine to secure the contract. The scheme involves constructing the 225 bed Millennium hotel along with a leisure complex, conference facilities for 650 people and a 776 space car park. The project will be managed by EC Harris and is scheduled for completion in autumn 2008.

South West Highways speeds to success on contract award hat-trick

South West Highways, a joint venture between Ringway and Colas, have secured a third successive highway maintenance contract with Devon County Council. The deal, potentially worth a total of £350m, begins next April, initially running for five years with the possibility of another five. The contract includes the routine and winter maintenance of 13,000km of highways and 3,000 structures.

Morgan Est win water schemes worth £130m

Morgan Est have been awarded a pair of sewerage upgrade projects, which involve carrying out major works to improve sewage treatment works in Esholt (Yorkshire) and Belfast. The larger of the two schemes is a £92m scheme to improve the sewage system covering Belfast, the smaller contract being a £39m deal to improve the systems covering Bradford and North Leeds.

Sir Robert McAlpine scores on Highbury Square deal

Arsenal subsidiary Highbury Holdings have awarded Sir Robert McAlpine a contract to redevelop the site of Highbury Stadium, former home of Arsenal FC. The project, worth £160m, involves building 704 luxury apartments around a central garden square occupying the same dimensions that the pitch used to. Demolition works are due for completion by the end of January 2007, and the first works – the South Stand apartments – will begin very soon. The overall scheme is expected to finish in 2010.

Costain awarded £90m nuclear waste project

The scheme, located in Sellafield, Cumbria, involves the design of nuclear waste disposal facilities for the reactors in the same locale. The £90m contract is one of the largest currently allocated by the British Nuclear Group.

Miller Construction comes top of the class on £235m Leicester schools contract

The project is part of the UK-wide Building Schools for the Future (BSF) scheme, which involves building and redeveloping hundreds (if not thousands) of schools across the country over a period of 15 years. Miller has sealed a deal with the local council to redevelop a total of 15 schools. Phase one, involving four schools, begins next year with the remaining 11 schools divided into three phases that will be delivered over the next 6 years.

Birse wins £20m Leeds roads contract

Five long years after being announced, Leeds City Council has awarded the East Link road project to Birse Civils. The project involves the construction of 4.5km of dual carriageway linking to junction 45 of the M1, works are due to start in late 2006 and expected to finish in 2008. Other bidders for the contract included Costain, Norwest Holst, Skanska, Carillion and Alfred McAlpine; Birse is claimed to have outbid them all by a large margin.

Taylor Woodrow at the checkout on £100m shopping centre deal

Taylor Woodrow has entered the final stages of negotiation on a £100m shopping centre contract in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. The scheme, dubbed the Cattlemarket, will contain 35 retail units and is due to begin in October 2008.

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