Pears building at the Royal Free Hospital in London delivered by Willmott Dixon

Mace and Willmott Dixon team up for healthcare jobs

Phil Puccio

Mace’s contracting arm will work with Willmott Dixon Construction to support each other on major hospital projects.

The consortium between the two contractors will be underpinned by an FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract.

It will see the two firms collaborate, allowing them to deliver a wider range of healthcare construction projects than they could do individually.

While they will support each other in bids, Willmott Dixon is unlikely to take on full delivery risk on mega hospitals, but may directly deliver elements of complex projects for Mace.

The firms will also support each other in healthcare-focused frameworks like ProCure23, which is just out to tender.

Both have extensive experience in the sector from Mace’s delivery of the award-winning new Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital for UCLH to Willmott Dixon’s Pears building for the Royal Free Charity.

Willmott Dixon Interiors is also active in the sector and is reconfiguring the Langley wing for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The decsion to work together comes as Department of Health procurement chiefs are understood to be considering whether to adopt a select contractors list to deliver major new hospitals, in a similar way to the Ministry of Justice which named just four contractors to deliver its £1bn prison building programme.

Adopting a collaborative approach to delivering the healthcare building programme aligns with the Government’s Construction Playbook. This sets out a clear direction for more effective collaboration in construction.

John Waterman, chief operating officer at Willmott Dixon Construction, said: “This is an exciting new collaboration that draws on much of the strategic intent of the Construction Playbook, which has laid out a clear course for the UK industry to get better and improve how we deliver for the public sector, through adopting a ‘programmes not projects’ approach, consequently we are looking at innovative ways of making this a reality.

“In Mace we see a collaborator who shares our values for advancing modern methods of construction, as well as sharing our vision for a more sustainable industry and achieving net zero.”

Gareth Lewis, CEO for Construct, Mace, said: “In conversations with the team at Willmott Dixon we’ve found that we’ve got a lot in common as two of the most high-profile UK contractors – from our commitment to diversity and inclusion to our ambitions for net zero.

“We’ve also found a lot of areas we can learn from one another; and it’s exciting that we’ll be able to share the benefits of that learning with our clients and the end-users that rely on critical healthcare facilities across the UK.

“Too often the UK construction industry can be so focussed on competition that we lose out on amazing opportunities for collaboration.

“I hope that this new model of partnership demonstrates the value of being more open to sharing our talents and knowledge with each other.”

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