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Bouygues signs £300m contract for new London eye hospital

Oriel eye hospital in St Pancras

Oriel is a joint initiative between Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity that will see services move to a new integrated centre on part of the St Pancras Hospital site.

The two-acre site earmarked for Oriel was owned by Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I). Moorfields acquired the site on 1st February 2023.

These milestones follow final NHS and government approval for the centre in November 2022 and Camden Council granting full planning permission in August 2022. Bouygues had already been identified as preferred bidder last year.

Demolition of six buildings currently on the Oriel site has begun this week and construction of the 10-storey, 47,000 sqm centre will start later this year.

Preparation work started on the site in autumn last year under an early works agreement with Bouygues UK and they have now developed a full construction programme with the building due to open in 2027.

Moorfields chief executive Martin Kuper said: “These latest developments move us firmly into the construction stage of the project. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this stage. We are excited to be working with Bouygues UK to build our state-of-the-art centre which will support our reputation for excellence and our ability to deliver outstanding care for our patients.”

Moorfields Eye Charity chief executive Robert Dufton said: “This is another major step forward for Oriel and we are very much looking forward to construction starting this year. We’ve been working in partnership with our generous donors because philanthropy is a key part of the Oriel funding mix and has a vital role in securing the future of eye health on a global scale. We believe the new centre will provide patients, who are at the heart of everything we do, with the best treatments, faster.”

The roof terrace
The roof terrace

Fabienne Viala, chair of Bouygues Construction in the United Kingdom, said: “To be partnering on this world-leading centre in eye care, research and education is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Bouygues UK. We are so proud to be the leading contractor for this innovative building which will be an exemplar for accessibility, tailored to the needs of its patients, and designed flexibly to meet their future needs.”

The £300m value of Bouygues’ construction contract indicates how building costs in the capital have increased over the past three years. In April 2020 construction costs were estimated at £179m and overall capital costs at £352m.

Oriel will be built on two acres of the five-acre St Pancras Hospital site. The rest of the site is being developed by Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust and King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership. The proposed development will mental health facilities, as well as new offices, homes, retail, leisure and public spaces.

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