VolkerFitzpatrick appointed to work on PHE’s £400 million world-leading public health science campus and headquarters

VolkerFitzpatrick is one of three UK leading construction companies to have been chosen to create Public Health England’s new state-of-the-art public health science campus and headquarters at Harlow in Essex.


The three contractors have been selected to deliver the four key elements of the £400m capital spend programme to create the campus, including the building and refurbishment of new and existing laboratories and office areas along with construction of a new arrivals area and logistics centre and site-wide infrastructure including car parking. 

The appointments, which will create thousands of construction-related jobs, bring to an end an 18-month procurement process, with the companies expected to start work next month.

 The successful companies bid for four lots and are:

  • Lot 1 – New build of specialist bioscience laboratory building – Kier Group
  • Lot 2 – Refurbishment of main building which includes laboratories and offices – Wates Construction
  • Lot 3 – Arrivals, administration and logistics buildings – Wates Construction
  • Lot 4 – Site-wide infrastructure, external works and energy centre – VolkerFitzpatrick (Royal VolkerWessels)

The appointment of all three contractors provides a boost to local employment particularly in the case of VolkerFitzpatrick whose head office is located in the neighbouring town of Hoddesdon.

The next steps will see the contractors working with the existing design teams and then preparing the site for major construction, which is planned to start in 2019 with phased occupation starting in 2021.

PHE Harlow, as the campus will be known, is expected to employ up to 2,750 people by 2024, with scope for further expansion.

Facilities from Porton in Wiltshire and Colindale in north London, as well as PHE’s central London headquarters will be relocated to the single centre of excellence for public health research, health improvement and protection.

The campus is critical to the future of PHE, ensuring we will be able to use the latest scientific advances to deliver our world-leading science and evidence for issues such as smoking, alcohol, diabetes, dementia, infectious diseases, environmental hazards and climate change nationally and internationally.

Richard Gleave, PHE Deputy Chief Executive, said: “PHE is delighted to have secured three of the leading construction companies in the UK to deliver what will be a world-leading national and international resource.

“Much of the work to create PHE Harlow is highly specialised so it’s especially pleasing to have secured three of the best companies in their fields to deliver that work. This is yet another milestone for PHE and we can now look forward to the chosen contractors coming on board and bringing their considerable wealth of experience and skills to our programme.

“We are also delighted at the very significant opportunities that the construction of PHE Harlow will offer in the surrounding area.”

Richard Offord, Managing Director of VolkerFitzpatrick said: “We are delighted to be working with PHE on such a forward-thinking project. The new public health science campus will support the growth of the local area and we are looking forward to starting work on this exciting opportunity.”