Construction work accelerated on UK’s first vaccine centre

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vaccine development and manufacturing centre,

Construction work at the UK’s first vaccine development and manufacturing centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire has started ahead of schedule

The main contractor, Glencar Construction has commenced construction work ahead of schedule to deliver the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) – a not-for-profit organisation.

The VMIC will provide the UK’s first-ever vaccine development and manufacturing capability.

Accelerated construction will see the 75,000 sq ft facility open its doors in 2021, ahead of its original date of 2022

Groundworks commenced on the vaccine development and manufacturing centre at Harwell in early April and have focused on site clearance, preparing the site for construction and the early order of the steelwork.

Glencar said it expects to see the base build ready for early access for fit-out, in late July/early August.

Design and fit-out are led by WHP Engineering.

Long-term support for future vaccines needs

Dr Matthew Duchars, chief executive of the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, commented: “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.”

Eddie McGillycuddy, managing director of Glencar Construction, added: “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.”

The vaccine development and manufacturing centre at Harwell was established by University of Oxford, Imperial College and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with support from industrial partners Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Johnson & Johnson, and GE Healthcare.

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