MAFF – Central Science Laboratory, York

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We resolved stakeholder concerns and organised critical building completions on this £130m laboratory complex for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, to ensure continuity of scientific research and rationalisation of regional establishments.

The Central Science Laboratory (CSL) was an executive agency of the former government department, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF). It is now part of the Food and Environment Research Agency, which in turn is part of the renamed government department, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It specialises in sciences which form the basis of agriculture for sustainable crop production, environmental management and conservation and in food safety and quality. This research had been undertaken in a number of regional laboratories throughout the UK and was now intended to be consolidated in a new complex in York.

We were appointed to complete and handover the £130m laboratory complex to enable the timely rationalisation and closure of the regional research facilities and move to York.

We consulted with stakeholders to prioritise their concerns and issues; communicated with the Home Office to facilitate licencing of the laboratories; determined the requirements for additional security and research facilities, tendered and administered the construction management contracts; and motivated the project team and established collaborative working with the joint venture contractor to  execute a critical programme of building completions.

A phased handover of the new facilities was successfully achieved to permit continuity of scientific research and the rationalisation of CSL’s regional closure programme.

“Richard was introduced to the project at a difficult period following partial occupation by the users but whilst we were also encountering serious contractual difficulties in completing the remaining works with the main contractor. Richard was a breath of fresh air in being very customer focussed with an aim of completing the remaining tasks to time quality and cost constraints. He undertook tasks with vigour and produced a successful outcome, very quickly gaining the respect of those around him.” 

John Hives, Head of Business Support Unit, DEFRA


Posted on

1st April 1997