A team that includes Bovis and developer Stanhope has been named preferred bidder to fund, build and operate a £135m headquarters for pharmaceuticals giant SmithKline Beecham.

The team, which also includes investment bank Schroders, pipped Amec to the project. Mowlem, with developer Heron, finished third. Development Securities/Mace came fourth.

The scheme is seen as ground breaking because it is the first “corporate” private finance initiative project.

One attraction of a PFI deal for SmithKline is that it lowers the initial capital cost of the headquarters by enabling the company to pay for the building over a long period.