Global infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has secured an £80m contract to build the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) in Coventry for the University of Warwick in the UK.

As part of works on the 33,000m² development on the university’s existing main campus site, a four-storey L-shaped building will be constructed along with teaching, research and development, design and engineering facilities.

Under the terms of the contract, Balfour Beatty will also be responsible for carrying out mechanical and electrical installation works for the centre, at a total investment of £150m.

Balfour Beatty Construction UK CEO Nicholas Pollard said: "This award adds to Balfour Beatty’s significant portfolio of university projects across the UK.

"We look forward to delivering a facility that will support the University of Warwick’s ambition to position the UK at the forefront of automotive research and development."

University of Warwick academic department Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) chairman professor Lord Bhattacharyya said: "The National Automotive Innovation Centre will link people, research and world-leading infrastructure to create and develop novel technologies.

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"[The facility] will support the University of Warwick’s ambition to position the UK at the forefront of automotive research and development."

"Building will commence soon and, through Balfour Beatty, the construction of such a significant facility will bring equally significant economic and employment benefits to the local construction sector."

With a capacity to accommodate more than 1,000 technologists, academics, designers, students and engineers, the NAIC will help to address the existing shortage of skilled research and development staff in the automotive supply chain.

During construction, the project is expected to employ more than 750 people.

Project work is due to commence soon, with completion anticipated for early 2017.

A collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, WMG and the government’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) is funding the new facility.

Image: An exterior view of the proposed National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC). Photo: courtesy of Balfour Beatty plc.