Laing O’Rourke lined up for £300m Cambridge cancer hospital

Laing O’Rourke has been appointed as preferred construction partner for a £300m specialist cancer research hospital in Cambridge.

The firm will help finalise designs and ensure value for money under a preconstruction services agreement, and said it was planning to “maximise the use of modern methods of construction”.

Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital (CCRH) is a partnership between Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Cambridge, and the university’s Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre.

The seven-storey building will be located on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, with construction expected to begin in 2024. It forms part of government plans to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030.

A full planning application was submitted to Cambridge City Council in January, with a decision expected later this year.

The hospital will include clinical space alongside three research institutes, focusing on the early detection of cancer and providing precision treatment.

An outline business case has now been approved by NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Treasury. The hospital’s expected cost is £300m, a 22 per cent increase on its 2020 allocated budget.

Last month health minister Will Quince said the hospital project received £14.7m in government funding up to the end of 2022/23, adding that the total funding provided will depend on a review of the full business case.

Cambridge University Hospitals said that “additional significant donations” will be needed for the project, which Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations were fundraising to secure.

Laing O’Rourke has built 18 major hospitals since 2010. It was the main contractor on the Royal Liverpool Hospital that opened last year, replacing Carillion after the firm collapsed.

CCRH project director John Spicer said: “We are delighted to be working with Laing O’Rourke, who have an excellent record of building hospitals and major investment schemes with a focus on quality and sustainability across the country.

“Working alongside colleagues at Laing O’Rourke will help bring innovation and unique expertise in modern methods of construction to the project, which will play an important role with our plans to build the East of England’s new cancer research hospital.”

The hospital was designed by architects NBBJ and engineering firm Aecom. Aecom will also provide support with construction project and cost management.

Laing O’Rourke healthcare sector leader Rory Pollock said the firm was “thrilled” to have been appointed as the project’s preferred construction partner.

“We will maximise the use of modern methods of construction to bring real benefits in terms of programme and cost certainty,” Pollock added. “We also understand that a hospital’s identity is paramount and will support the development of the non-clinical, public realm spaces to maximise the patient and staff experiences.”

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