Construction work fast-tracked at new vaccine centre in Harwell, Oxfordshire
Construction work has started ahead of schedule to build the UK’s first vaccine development and manufacturing centre.
Glencar Construction is the main contractor on the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) at Harwell in Oxfordshire.
A “rapidly accelerated” construction programme will aim to see the 75,000 sq ft facility opened its doors in 2021, ahead of the originally scheduled date in 2022.
Groundworks began on site earlier this month and have focused on site clearance, preparing the site for construction and the early order of the steelwork.
Glencar expects to see the base build ready for early access for fit-out, in late July/early August.
Design and fit-out are underway and led by WHP Engineering.
Dr Matthew Duchars, Chief Executive of the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre said: “Whilst no-one could have predicted the Covid-19 outbreak we are doing all we can to fast track the build so VMIC is set-up to offer long-term support to the UK’s future vaccines needs whilst simultaneously contributing right now to the vital work that will help us emerge from this pandemic.
“As well as working with the Harwell team and contractors to deliver the build rapidly ahead of schedule, VMIC scientists and engineers are working round the clock as part of the BIA CoViD19 Taskforce.”
Cliff Dare, Chief Operating Officer of Harwell Campus Management team and Development Manager for the VMIC build said: “It is essential that we continue to fast track this project of national importance, bringing the facility into operation as quickly as possible.
“This is not a straightforward build and fit-out; it is a complex advanced centre of technology and that throws up its own particular challenges.
“One way we are addressing this is by looking at novel strategies for developing fit-out/technologies, including off-site manufacture that will sit within the building to be developed alongside groundworks.”
Eddie McGillycuddy, Managing Director of Glencar Construction said: “We have made an accelerated start and reduced our construction programme with the support of our partners, making this project an excellent example of all that is good about our industry.”
Credit to: - Grant Prior