Science and Technology Facilities Council appoints Mace to build two major new research facilities

The Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) has appointed Mace as contractor to deliver two new world-leading science facilities at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire. 

Mace will serve as contractor on a two-stage design and build contract to deliver two facilities over the next three years. The projects have a total construction value of more than £90m.  

The first project is the new Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI), a life sciences facility named after one of the UK’s pioneering female scientists. 

The RFI will be dedicated to bringing together academic and industry researchers from across the UK to develop disruptive new technologies designed to tackle major challenges in health and life sciences and accelerate the discovery of new treatments for chronic diseases affecting millions of people around the world, such as dementia.  

The second project is the National Satellite Test Facility (NSTF), a research centre that will become part of the existing STFC RAL Space Facility. The new facility will allow the UK space industry to competitively bid for more national and international contracts and ensure it remains a world-leader for space technologies for the foreseeable future. 

The new NSTF will provide a comprehensive world-class set of co-located facilities for the assembly, integration and testing of space payloads and satellites, positioning the UK to capitalise on the estimated 3,500 -10,000 satellites that are due to be launched by 2025. It will provide a one-stop shop for the space industry unlike any other facility currently available in the UK.

The Harwell Campus is a public private partnership between Harwell Oxford Partners, U+I Group PLC, the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the UK Atomic Energy Agency (UKAEA). As one of the world’s most important science and innovation locations it is seeing rapid growth in the Life Sciences and HealthTec sector with over 1,000 people working in this field alone at Harwell.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a UK government body that carries out civil research in science and engineering, and funds UK research in areas including particle physics, nuclear physics, space science and astronomy. 

The projects were procured through the Southern Construction Framework. 

Mark Castle, Mace’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer said: 

“These two new research facilities represent a tremendous investment in the UK’s scientific capabilities. Both the Rosalind Franklin Institute and the National Satellite Testing Facility have enormous potential to revolutionise their respective scientific fields and to deliver huge commercial and research value for the UK. 

“Mace has a proud history of delivering world-class research facilities in the UK, and the award of these contracts gives us an opportunity to continue that legacy. We look forward to working with the STFC over the next three years.”

Aerial View of Harwell Campus - Mace Group