Consultants appointed for £200m Belfast university deal

Three major construction consultancies have been named on a £200m deal to build innovation centres for Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Arcadis, Turner & Townsend and Faithful+Gould will provide project management, design and construction services as part of the contract win.

Arcadis has been appointed to work on the £98m Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC) project. The biggest scheme of the three, it includes designing a 10,500-square-metre research facility in Newtownabbey, aimed at giving manufacturing and engineering businesses access to the latest technology and equipment.

Arcadis director David Losty said the manufacturing hub was focused on creating jobs in the local area, as well as on research.

He added: “This project truly exemplifies our ethos of improving quality of life and we are really pleased to be involved.”

Meanwhile, Faithful+Gould won the design contract for the Global Innovation Institute (GII), valued at £58m. The centre will be used to support the Titanic Quarter’s innovation district, and increase the variety and volume of digital innovation needed.

Faithful+Gould director Anthony McNeill said the consultancy’s design team was ready to deliver a space that would “stand the test of time”.

The third innovation space, which is the £52m Institute of Research Excellence for Advanced Clinical Healthcare (iREACH), will be worked on by Turner & Townsend. It is being built on the pandemic learning that there is a strong link between clinical research and better treatment. This health centre will serve the NHS, as well as the medical industry, testing new drugs and health technology.

Turner & Townsend associate director Kevin McNaull said that while the firm was specifically working on project and cost management, building information modelling, and health and safety advice, it was also roping in Arup for its engineering expertise.

The innovation centres are part of a £1bn Belfast City Region Deal, which is delivering more than 20 projects to regenerate the capital city, in a partnership between the central government and local authorities. Other major jobs in Belfast include a £200m transport hub, which is being worked on by a Farrans joint venture.

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