BES appointed to fit out UK’s VMIC

Article by Amanda Jasi

Currently under construction, the VMIC will form a key element of the UK Government's future pandemic response

SERVICES company BES has been appointed to fit out the UK’s new Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC), which is being fast tracked for early completion in 2021 due to Covid-19.

VMIC is being established to promote, develop, and accelerate growth of the UK’s vaccine industry. It has taken a leading role in advising UK Government teams on vaccine manufacturing in response to Covid-19. The project’s main output will be a state-of-the-art vaccine development and manufacturing centre. Based at Hartwell Campus, in Oxfordshire, the manufacturing centre will enable vaccine developers to refine their processes, prepare vaccines for clinical trials, and scale up for mass production in case of future public health emergencies.

Boulting Environmental Services (BES) has more than 18 years’ experience of delivering complex pharmaceutical environments. It will provide VMIC with design coordination and internal fit-out of pre-clinical development laboratories, vaccine manufacturing suites, cold storage, and filling areas. BES is a fully integrated services provider within pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors.

Working collaboratively with principal contractor Glencar Construction, a construction services company, BES will provide integrated process, architectural, mechanical, electrical services to complete the state-of-the-art VMIC.

Chris Lucas, COO of VMIC, said: “Delivering the VMIC facility during a pandemic is challenging, and the need to fast-track the project by a year has resulted in a level of complexity unparalleled in construction. With their level of expertise, BES will form an important part of the collaborative group delivering this project of national importance.” 

VMIC will form a key element of the Government’s future pandemic response and will be capable of producing 70m vaccine doses within 4–6 months of opening.

In May, the Government awarded VMIC a £93m (US$121.3m) grant to accelerate delivery of the facility and to expand manufacturing capacity. Recently, chemical engineer and COO of VMIC Chris Lucas spoke to The Chemical Engineer about how the project was being reshaped by circumstance and how the ensuing risks of a significant shift are being managed.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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