The firm is making seven new laboratories for the pioneering centre, and almost all the work is taking place off site
Northumberland construction company Merit has been chosen to deliver the third phase expansion of a pioneering £75m Cell and Gene Therapy centre.
The Cramlington company - the 2018 North East company of the year - has secured the work on the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) manufacturing centre in Stevenage, boosting capacity of the facility which plays a crucial role in bringing advanced cell and gene therapies to patients.
The company will use its advanced offsite manufacturing expertise to deliver seven new quality control laboratories at the centre.
Merit completed construction of the expansion phase of the manufacturing centre last October last year, using its unique off-site ‘Pam’ (Pre-Assembled module) techniques.
The firm switched its strategy to Pre-Assembled Modules for virtually all its projects, which, it says, reduces the construction programme and costs.
For the new laboratories, Merit will take the off-site approach to the next level with only 10% of the labour content carried out on site.
Tony Wells, Managing Director, Merit, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue to work with the team at CGT Catapult and are proud to have an integral role in the development of such a pioneering off-site initiative.
“Our proprietary ‘Instant Building’ technology combines advanced offsite manufacturing with the technical expertise to deliver complex solutions in significantly shorter build schedules. We have a detailed knowledge of the project after successfully completing the expansion phase last year and look forward to working closely with CGT Catapult to once again deliver a high quality facility.”
Backed by over £75M of funding, including investment from the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund; the department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, the European Regional Development Fund and from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the centre is providing the infrastructure and expertise to enable companies to develop their manufacturing capabilities and systems for large scale, commercial cell and gene therapy supply.
Keith Thompson, CEO, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, said: “It is a pleasure to work with Merit again to expand our laboratory space to provide additional analytical capabilities at the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre.
“Merit provided diligent support and ensured minimal disruption during the building of our expansion phase at the centre, and this is crucial to maintaining the facility operational for us and our collaborating companies manufacturing therapies, in an operational GMP compliant state. We look forward to working with Merit again on what is another significant project for CGT Catapult.”