A joint venture between contractor Alfred and Sir Robert McAlpine is expected to win the £105m third phase of the Eden Project in Cornwall.
Sources close to the project say Eden’s cost consultant Davis Langdon & Everest is to recommend that the joint venture be given the nod over Devon contractor Midas.

The sources added that small parts of the third phase might be subcontracted to local firms.

There are more than 20 projects in the third phase, ranging in value from £500,000 to about £30m. Schemes include a £20m education centre and a 1000 m2 desert environment.

An Eden insider said there had been a disappointing number of bidders for the work, as many rival contractors felt that the McAlpines, which built the hugely successful first and second phases, were unbeatable.

The five-year design-and-build contract is expected to be formally awarded in the next two months.