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Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital appoints construction firm

Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital (CCRH) has appointed Laing O’Rourke as its preferred construction partner to join the project for its next phase of design.

The international construction and engineering company will start working on the project under a pre-construction services agreement. The appointment comes as NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and HM Treasury have approved the new hospital’s Outline Business Case (OBC), which demonstrates to Government the vision and benefits that Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital will offer to patients across the region.


The seven-storey c.26,300 m2 facility planned for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus is set to be the first hospital delivered in the East of England as part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

Following a robust procurement process, Laing O’Rourke were chosen to help finalise designs and ensure maximum value for money as the project moves closer to breaking ground.

The specialist cancer research hospital is a partnership between Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Cambridge and its Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre (CRUK CC). It will combine NHS clinical space with three new ground-breaking research institutes, focusing on accelerating the early detection of cancer and delivering precision cancer treatment, to support the ambitions set out in the government’s Life Science Strategy and the NHS Long Term Plan.

Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) and Cambridge University Development and Alumni Relations (CUDAR) are fundraising to secure additional significant donations needed for the hospital.

Laing O’Rourke has built 18 major hospitals since 2010, delivering world-class facilities for clinical staff and patients, including specialist cancer care facilities. Most recently they delivered the Louisa Martindale Building in Brighton, the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital, the Grange University Hospital in Wales, as well as the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Liverpool, and before that the Cancer Centre at Guy’s & St Thomas in London.

John Spicer, Project Director for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital 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.

“We are partnering with the organisation to develop our construction plans and progress our design for this state-of-the-art facility which staff, patients and their families have all been involved in.

“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 state-of-the-art facility will be a specialist cancer hospital for the East of England. It has been designed by architects NBBJ and engineers AECOM, in partnership with patients, carers and staff. AECOM will also support with construction project and cost management.

Rory Pollock, healthcare sector leader from Laing O’Rourke said: “We’re thrilled to have been appointed as the preferred construction partner for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital and to be working with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“Having built 18 hospitals since 2010, we look forward to using our industry-leading experience to deliver this state-of-the-art cancer research hospital which will help the NHS’s clinical staff provide the best possible care for patients and their families.

“We’ve worked collaboratively with the design team NBBJ and AECOM on a number of healthcare projects over the past decade and will bring industry leading expertise to support the next stage of their design development journey.

“We will maximise the use of modern methods of construction to bring real benefits in terms of programme and cost certainty. 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.”

Health Minister, Lord Markham, said:

“The approval of the Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital’s second stage of its business case and confirmation of its preferred construction partner is a major milestone.

“The proposed new seven-story specialist building will foster collaboration between hospital staff and researchers to help secure ground-breaking discoveries and encourage cutting-edge treatments for patients across the entire region.

“This facility is set to be the first hospital delivered in the East of England as part of our New Hospital Programme and demonstrates our continued commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, backed by an expected £20 billion.”

Laing O’Rourke were selected following a competitive process using Crown Commercial Service’s Construction Works and Associated Services 2 (CWAS2) framework, a collaboration with NHS England that includes ProCure 23 (P23). The P23 route has successfully delivered more than 1,200 projects across England.

A full planning application for Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital was submitted to Cambridge City Council in January and a decision is expected later this year. Construction works for the new hospital are due to start in 2024.