BAM Construct UK has been appointed as main contractor by property developer Ask Real Estate (Ask) for the delivery of the next phase of office development at First Street in Manchester City Centre.

Insurance firm Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) has invested £105m to forward fund the new 130,900ft2 office project.

Lead developer Ask and its JV partner, The Richardson Family, have brought forward the Plot 9a project.

The building will seek a BREEAM minimum rating of Excellent.

BAM Construct stated that it will also be one of the first offices in Manchester capable of receiving a minimum NABERS Design for Performance rating of 5.5* stars or above.

Last year in August, it was announced the Government Property Agency (GPA) has taken a 25-year lease of the complete building which will be able to accommodate around 2,500 employees.

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About £31m is expected to be generated as economic benefits by the relocation from London to Manchester of over 700 civil service roles, which is part of the government’s Places for Growth programme.

The Government Hubs Programme allows the GPA to offer a smaller, better and greener estate that backs the government’s aim to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

These hubs enable the GPA to create modern environments where departments can be collocated in shared buildings across the country.

BAM North West regional director Ian Fleming said: “The ‘Holy Grail’ in the construction sector, which enables gold standard collaboration, is the early involvement between all the parties and in particular, developer and contractor. This pre-construction phase is where problems get identified and solved, partnerships are forged, and ideas and solutions realised that add value to a scheme and guide it to success. That’s our experience of working with Ask – it means our ability to enhance the sustainability and social value of how we work and what a scheme can achieve is improved. I know that the great challenges of a scheme like this can be met through the innovation and creativity our partnerships will bring.”

Ask Real Estate managing director John Hughes said: “We are delighted to have appointed BAM to take this project forward. Since announcing our pre-let to the GPA we have had an unbelievable reaction to the building’s sustainability credentials and the jobs this development will bring to First Street. Having worked with BAM for a number of years, they have become a trusted contractor partner for us and this appointment continues our positive relationship.”

Ask has worked with BAM over the last five years on a number of projects with a total contract value of more than £137m, delivering approximately 367,000ft2 of floor space across Manchester, Salford and the North East, with the most recent being a new flagship headquarters in Newcastle for Home Group, which is a provider of social housing in the country.