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26 February 2015

Laing O’Rourke-led consortium awarded £22.1m grant under the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI)

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has today awarded a £22.1 million grant to a consortium led by global engineering and construction company, Laing O’Rourke, as part of its Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

Vince Cable MP, apprentice - Jagjeet Singh Panesar, and Ray O'Rourke

Administered by Finance Birmingham, the four year grant is towards a £104m project for the advanced manufacturing of homes, buildings and infrastructure, supporting research and development, investment in new manufacturing facilities and training. The project work streams will not only address research into modular design and manufacturing, but will also cover structured training initiatives, providing the existing workforce and new recruits with skills around digital engineering, the manufacturing process and installation.

“This grant comes at a critical time for the construction and engineering sector and its supply chain,” says Stephen Harley, Director of Advanced Manufacturing at Laing O’Rourke.

“We estimate that it will create over 600 new, direct jobs and as many as 1,000 across the diverse supply chain. Our consortium of 22 partners integrates the design, manufacturing and assembly construction supply chain with leading research institutions to create a new platform for collaborative innovation.

“The investment is potentially great news for our ability to help address the UK’s housing capacity gap of some 60,000 to 100,000 homes annually, with advanced off-site manufacturing and digital engineering speeding up the provision of affordable, high quality accommodation,” adds Stephen Trusler, Laing O’Rourke’s Accommodation Sector Leader. “It will also contribute to achieving the UK Government’s strategy for construction targets of 33% lower costs, 50% faster delivery, lower emissions and improvement in exports.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“To have any chance of meeting the demand for affordable homes, the industry must embrace the latest house building technologies and techniques. That’s why I’m delighted to grant £22.1 million worth of funding to help the sector do just that.

“Whether through smart digital design or off-site manufacturing, it’s excellent to see firms like Laing O’Rourke leading by example and laying the foundations for growth.”

Laing O’Rourke has a range of key partners in the initiative from the design sector, manufacturing & research and the supply chain, and includes Crown House Technologies, Expanded, Select and Explore Manufacturing parts of the Laing O’Rourke Group:

Design: Arup Associates, WSP, Hoare Lea, Fulcro.

Manufacturing/Research: University of Cambridge, The University Of Sheffield, BRE.

Supply Chain: Airedale, Armstrong, Beckhoff, Crane, Apex, Grundfos, Hamworthy, British Gypsum (part of the Saint-Gobain group), SIG and Thorn.

The Business Secretary made the announcement of the award during a tour of the Elephant Road site developed by Delancey in Elephant and Castle, London where he saw first-hand Laing O’Rourke’s construction of three new residential towers using the latest building techniques. Set for completion in summer 2016, the development will regenerate the area with new homes, restaurants, retail units and leisure facilities.

Dartford headquartered Laing O’Rourke is recognised as a pioneering company in off-site manufacturing and Building Information Management (BIM). The CIOB's Construction Research and Innovation magazine recently said: “It’s hard to see how Laing O’Rourke cannot lay legitimate claim to being the most innovative contractor in the UK.”

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