Sir Robert McAlpine and Mace, who are vying for one of the few jobs not on hold in the City of London, have teamed up to bid for a £400m deal to build a new “super laboratory” in the capital

The two are also among five bidders for the UK Centre for Medical Research & Innovation scheme bordering the British Library in north London’s King’s Cross.

The pair, who are the last two bidders for a £150m tower for developer Heron, will receive tender documents for the medical centre at the end of June along with Skanska, Laing O’Rourke, Bam and Bovis Lend Lease. Building understands that pre-construction advice is being carried out by Balfour Beatty-owned Parsons Brinckerhoff.

The laboratory is being planned by the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and University College London and will develop new treatments for illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and flu.

the £400m centre will develop treatments for illnesses including cancer and heart disease

All five bidders had hoped to receive documents by now, but design and planning issues have already pushed the completion date back a year until 2015. Construction work is due to start in 2011.

Last month, architect PLP, the firm created by the breakaway former partners of Kohn Pedersen Fox, was drafted onto the scheme to rework the design because of fears that initial designs, drawn up by HOK, would fall foul of planners. The scheme is now due to be submitted to Camden council this autumn.

Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine will find out by the end of the month who has won the contract to build the £150m The Heron a 35-storey residential block with concert music hall at the Barbican. As Building reported last week, sources at Mace privately concede Sir Robert McAlpine is likely to bag the job.