Public Health England raise the flag as they purchase GSK site in Harlow

Business / Mon 10th Jul 2017 at 12:43pm

PUBLIC Health England (PHE) has bought pharmaceutical giant GSK’s vacant site at Harlow to build a £400m laboratory complex.

On a momentous day for Harlow, the PHE flag was raised as PHE officials, Harlow MP Robert Halfon, leader of Harlow Council, cllr Jon Clempner and many others came together to mark the day.


The Government body aims to re-locate staff and facilities to the research complex from Porton in Wiltshire and Colindale in north London as well as its headquarters functions from central London.

It will submit a planning application in the next few weeks to refurbish several current buildings and construct new ones on the Pinnacles Estate site. The plans include new and converted laboratories and a visitor centre.

The project will be delivered through four main building contracts, let through a two-stage tender process.

Lot 1 — New build high containment bioscience laboratory building (£160m) – Completion 31.3.2023
Lot 2 — Refurbishment of Mixed use Laboratory Buildings (£100m) – Completion 30.6.2021
Lot 3 — Arrivals, Administration and Logistics Buildings (£35m) – Completion 30.6.2021
Lot 4 — Site-wide Infrastructure and External Works (£70m) – Completion 30.9.2022

The site and assets were purchased for £25m. It is anticipated that the first staff will move to Harlow in 2021 with the site fully operational by 2024. At that time up to 2,750 people could be based at the Science Hub with scope for further expansion to 3,250.

Richard Gleave, PHE Deputy Chief Executive said: “Our move to Harlow will create a world-class science campus for public health, of international significance and real benefits for the local community.

“The decision to buy the site now has been taken after careful consideration of the advantages and represents best value to the British taxpayer.

“This includes reduced running costs and the ability to carry out a number of further specialist additional surveys which will save us considerable time and money and provide invaluable information for the more detailed design work planned for later in the year.”

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