It was recently announced that six construction firms have secured their places on a framework to exclusively bid to deliver large-scale construction projects to five universities based in the North East of England.
The North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) is one of six consortia nationwide designed to maximise third party expenditure within the Higher Education sector. Consisting of the Universities of Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside, this Major Construction Works Framework will span eight years and has been designed to meet member’s major capital projects, which are believed to be worth between £4 million and £30 million each. The NEUPC is currently the largest and most complex Higher Education framework undertaken, worth £750 million.
The six successful construction firms are Clugston Construction, Sir Robert McAlpine, BAM Construction Limited, Bowmer & Kirkland, Galliford Try and Robertson. The first construction project has already been awarded within the framework to Clugston Construction, which will commence work in January 2018 on the new University of Newcastle Sports Centre, providing new modern sports halls, running tracks, gymnasiums and courts worth £17 million at the Richardson Road site. Once completed, the sports centre will become a centre of excellence in sports science.
It is hoped that the framework agreement will see significant savings for the universities involved, driven by competition between the framework contractors, and it is expected that social value will be added through working with these specific contractors who all have strong SME supply chains. Projects will be varied, but will typically involve teaching facilities, laboratories, sports facilities and conference facilities. Dependent on performance, contracts could be renewed for up to eight years. The next project to be offered for tender will be the £50 million Newcastle University’s National Innovation Centre which is due to commence construction in December.