North East universities £750m upgrade plan

First on the agenda will be framework project - a £17m sports centre at Newcastle University

The long awaited plan is set in motion. The North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) announced the creation of The Major (Construction) Works Framework agreement with contractors Clugston Construction, Sir Robert McAlpine, BAM Construction, Bowmer and Kirkland, Galliford Try and Robertson.

This construction companies are getting the exclusive rights to bid for all the work regarding this venture. They all have places in the table regarding a major framework that is designed to answer the needs and be used by five leading higher education institutions in the North East region. The budget for this cooperation extend itself to £750m of building projects.

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Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside universities all have their plans for renewing and building new facilities in the next six years, and many of those schemes go beyond £20m. On the top of the list of projects, to use the framework, will be the extension of the Newcastle University sports centre, located on Richardson Road in Newcastle, with the budget of £17m.The extension will be delivered by Clugston’s North East office in Stockton with the January 2018 start date.

Updated sport centre will become a place of excellence in sports science and body conditioning, equipped with modern sports halls, courts, running tracks and gyms for this university students.

Steve Radcliffe, managing director of Clugston Construction, stated: “We are delighted to have secured a place on this framework and look forward to supporting the capital project needs of such high-profile organisations.”



He continued on future development opportunities in this region: “Being involved in this framework will provide the opportunity to further develop our North East Business, by investing in our commitment to employment and skills and growing the local supply chain.”

The initial idea of this framework is to give its members significant savings against the market, to be driven through competition between the framework contractors, and to boost communication between universities and suppliers, who all have strong SME supply chains.

NEUPC will also be overall link that combines and encourages communication within the framework, participants regarding teaching and research agendas.

Frank Rowell, head of the consortium at NEUPC, said: “Through collaboration with our members in the North East, we are excited to announce the launch of a ground breaking major construction collaborative framework.

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Furthermore, he analyzed this kind of agreement in terms of correlation between the quality and means:“This is the first time a HE purchasing consortium has tendered a framework of this scale and complexity and demonstrates our ability to provide relevant and high-quality procurement resources to university estates departments. Our members are now able to access purchasing agreements that cover the majority of estates activity.”

Iain Garfield, head of estate planning and development at Newcastle University, said: “Following the assessment of some excellent tender submissions we are delighted to announce the establishment of the NE universities major capital framework. This framework will not only provide our universities with a framework of high quality contractors for all construction projects over £4m but will also be the platform for extensive collaboration and relationship development between universities and contractors.”


The new values of the properties are also mentioned in his statement: “This will add value over and above the tendering of construction projects, including the development of standard processes and providing partner organisations with excellent opportunities to add significant value to the local community and local economy. The first project to be tendered will be Newcastle University ’s £50m National Innovation Centre on Science Central which is due to commence construction in December this year.”