Laing O’Rourke wins first phase of £700m scheme in Oxford


Laing O’Rourke will deliver the first phase of a £700 million new science and research district in Oxford. 

Credit: Oxford North Ventures.

Oxford North will comprise one million sq ft of laboratory and workspace in the city, as well as 480 homes, a new hotel, and associated infrastructure.  

The scheme, which also includes a nursery, cafes and bars, and three public parks, is a joint venture (JV) between Thomas White Oxford, the development company of St John’s College, Cadillac Fairview and Stanhope. 

Laing O’Rourke will construct the Red Hall, a 43,500 sq ft space for science and innovation starts-ups and SMEs, and the first two laboratory buildings totalling 115,000 sq ft. 

Using an off-site approach, the business will manufacture components of the project at its East Midlands factory before transporting them to site. 

The company has also committed to build local employment and training opportunities into procurement contracts, including hiring 13 apprentices. 

Infrastructure enabling works started in August 2021 have since been completed. 

This initial phase (1a) will target practical completion in Q2 2025. 

“We are proud to be part of this prestigious project to create a world-class science and research district,” said Martin Staehr, director of building, Laing O’Rourke. “We will combine our experience of modern methods of construction and knowledge of this specialist sector to create carbon-efficient laboratories and workspace along with amenities. 

“We will also provide employment and create training opportunities for people living in and around Oxford. We look forward to working for Oxford North Ventures and with our partners to deliver this exceptional new community in the city of Oxford.” 

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