Balfour Beatty has been awarded an £80 million contract to construct the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) in Coventry for the University of Warwick.
The 33,000 square metre development on the existing main campus of the University of Warwick site involves the construction of a four-storey ‘L’ shaped building that will house state-of-the-art teaching, research and development, design and engineering facilities, centred around collaborative workspaces.
Balfour Beatty will also carry out the significant mechanical and electrical installation works.
The NAIC will provide a national focus for expertise in automotive research and development. It will accommodate over 1,000 technologists, academics, designers, students and engineers, fostering collaboration to develop and utilise new breakthrough vehicle technology. The facility will also help to address the current shortage of skilled research and development staff in the automotive supply chain.
At the height of construction the project will employ over 750 people and will also provide opportunities for apprenticeships and graduate and work experience placements.
Nicholas Pollard, Balfour Beatty Chief Executive Officer for Construction UK, said: “This award adds to Balfour Beatty’s significant portfolio of university projects across the UK. We look forward to delivering a facility that will support the University of Warwick’s ambition to position the UK at the forefront of automotive research and development. Our commitment to apprenticeship, graduate and work placements, throughout project delivery will ensure Balfour Beatty’s contribution goes beyond the construction phase.”
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), an academic department of the University of Warwick said: “The National Automotive Innovation Centre will link people, research and world-leading infrastructure to create and develop novel technologies. NAIC will be an ‘engine’ for economic growth, with wide economic benefit, and sustained growth from the creation of world-leading technologies. Building will commence soon and through Balfour Beatty the construction of such a significant facility will bring equally significant economic and employment benefits to the local construction sector.”
Work will commence this spring with completion in spring 2017.
The NAIC is being funded through a collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, WMG and the Government’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), which is administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The total investment in NAIC and the initial technologies it will house by will be £150 million.