A JOINT venture between Amec and Building & Property Group this week signed the £160M private finance concession to build and operate two major office buildings for the Department of Social Security in the North East.The project will bring 10,700 DSS staff spread across 11 locations in the North East into four sites at Longbenton and Washington.
The project is distinct from the DSS's PRIME project which covers the management and refurbishment of the rest of its property estate. Amec withdrew from PPM, the consortium chosen to carry out PRIME, just before the concession was signed (News last week.)
The Amec/BPG joint venture has formed Newcastle Estate Partnership to manage the project over 30 years. Unlike PRIME it has a large new-build content involving construction of two offices totalling 80,000m2 and the refurbishment of two other buildings with 47,500m2 of space.
Royal Bank of Scotland is putting up most of the finance for the project, with a small proportion coming from Amec and Building & Property as equity.
(See Commentary page10).