December 8, 2023

The integrated consultant team selected for the estimated £1.2 million contract will design and deliver a new 7,000m² complex providing flexible space and facilities to support local clean technology enterprises.

The four-storey I4C Innovation and Cleantech Centre project will be constructed on the 13ha former St Patrick’s Barracks which has also been earmarked for new social housing, a civic events space, offices, a PSNI command centre and a leisure, health and wellbeing centre.

According to the brief: ‘The i4C will form a physical hub, supporting future innovation activity in the borough and future cleantech sector (clean technology) needs across NI.

‘The proposal aims to address needs identified within the borough which include quality office accommodation, SME incubation laboratory spaces and the practical supports and spaces to assist SMEs to innovate and commercialise their ideas.

‘The project also affords the opportunity to have university and competency centre partners establish a footprint in the borough as part of the iLAB facility.

‘Renewable technologies shall be incorporated into the design ethos and fabric of i4C Innovation and Cleantech Centre building.  The building must also achieve a BREAAM Excellent Rating.’

Located 35 kilometres north-west of Belfast, Ballymena is the eighth-largest town in Northern Ireland. Landmark buildings in the area include the 67 hectare waterfront ECOS Centre completed by WDR+RT Taggart Architects at the turn of the millennium.

St Patrick’s Barracks, located on a large riverside site east of Ballymena town centre, was used by the United States Army during the Second World War before becoming home to the Royal Ulster Rifles, the Royal Irish Rangers and later the Royal Irish Regiment.

The base closed in 2007 with the site earmarked for redevelopment and existing former military buildings partially demolished. Belfast-based Hall Black Douglas won a design contest organised Radius Homes for 150 new social homes on the site five years ago.

The latest £16.9 million project will deliver a new innovation centre on the site featuring offices, laboratories, workshops, flexible meeting rooms, teachings spaces, an events area and a foyer.

Round two bids will be evaluated 50 per cent on quality, 10 per cent on social value and 40 per cent on cost. Applicants must hold professional indemnity insurance of £5 million and public liability insurance of £10 million.

Competition details

Project title Appointment of Project Manager led Integrated Consultant Team for the I4C Innovation Centre
Client Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
Contract value £16.9 million
First round deadline 2pm, 14 April 2023
Restrictions Applicants must demonstrate three projects completed in the past seven years which show experience of effectively delivering high quality sustainable design to a BREEAM rating of Excellent or better on contracts of a similar scale and complexity to the work anticipated under this contract. Projects should have a minimum construction value of £15 million
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