Glencar takes over Readie lab job

Glencar has taken over the construction of a life sciences building near Cambridge from collapsed contractor Readie.

Readie was appointed last November to build the Sidney Sussex building in Chesterford Research Park, but went into administration three months later.

Glencar will now finish the 5,500 square metre building, having restarted the work at the end of May. The project has £40m in private funding, construction database Glenigan estimates.

The three-storey laboratory and office scheme is now due to complete by October 2025. It has been designed to adapt to different needs throughout its lifecycle, allowing for areas to be combined if more space is required.

The building will host open-plan write-up areas, benching, lifts, storage rooms and shower facilities. Suites currently offered range from 200 to 800 square metres.

It will be part-powered by renewable energy and will feature a new pond, bird and bat boxes, and tree planting in a bid to increase biodiversity.

Glencar chief executive Eddie McGillycuddy said: “This project is not only a testament to our growing expertise in life sciences construction but also a significant addition to our portfolio, following other successful projects we have delivered and are delivering currently at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.”

Chesterford Research Park occupies 250 acres in the life sciences ‘golden triangle’, and is co-owned by Aviva Investors and Uttlesford District Council. Pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Sanofi are among the park’s existing tenants.

Readie Construction hit the buffers in early February. An email to staff cited “inflationary cost pressures, numerous subcontractor failures [and] chronic tightening in the performance bond and trade credit insurance markets” for its financial troubles.

The Essex-based firm specialised in industrial and logistics buildings, having delivered 350,000 square metres of warehouse space in the 2022/23 financial year, according to its final set of accounts.

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