Exclusive: Contractor has been appointed preferred bidder for the £23m job to build Swansea University’s new Innovation Hub

Swansea science centre

Building understands Leadbitter edged out Laing O’Rourke, Bam Construct, Vinci, and Willmott Dixon for the job, which involves the construction of a new building to house the Swansea University’s College of Engineering , with labs for disciplines ranging from nano-technology to sport sciences as well as a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

The Innovation Hub is the first building to be developed as part of the university’s wider £200m Science and Innovation Campus development.

Earlier this month the university signed a deal with St Modwen to develop the £150m first phase of the new campus.

The project on an old BP refinery site in Neath already has detailed planning permission for 430,000 sq ft of academic buildings and 900 student apartments.

The university secured European Investment Bank and Welsh Government funding while St Modwen has secured the investment sale of 50% of the student accommodation to a major institutional investor.

Outline planning permission is already in place for future development phases worth more than £300m.