Oxford University has been granted a temporary High Court injunction to protect workers on its biomedical research building from intimidation by animal rights protesters.

Earlier this summer, contractor Montpellier Group and concrete supplier RMC pulled out of the project after threats to their staff. The university is believed to have sought the injunction after struggling to find replacements.

Mr Justice Simon adjourned the hearing until 5 October to give 10 named defendants time to prepare their evidence.

Last week, two protesters were hospitalised when a construction worker threw a harmful substance over them. This has enraged demonstrators, who claim that violence is often started when construction workers react aggressively to peaceful protests.

A spokesperson for the SPEAK campaign group, which co-ordinates the protests, said: “Last week’s attack was another escalation of the situation by workers.”

The worker accused of the attack was arrested and released on bail.