Royal Papworth Hospital

Building Use


Procurement Method


Why buy from Portakabin

Project Features

  • Incubator – the first of its kind on a hospital site
  • Laboratory space
  • Offices
  1. The Requirements

    When the decision was made for life saving technology to be developed at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cambridgeshire, plans were rapidly put in place for the construction of a specialist Biotechnology Incubator.

    The Hospital Trust received £1.4m of funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) to build the Incubator – the first of its kind on a hospital site. The building was intended to provide both laboratory space and a commercial office environment.

    The Trust soon commissioned leading architects, Frank Shaw Associates, and the search began to find the perfect supplier.

  2. The Solution

    Portakabin received an initial enquiry from the architects and were asked to undertake preliminary design work on the shape and footprint of the building. The contract was put to tender and soon after, the state-of-the-art Ultima building from Portakabin was chosen to provide 1200m2 of commercial space. The building was able to provide the design flexibility and the exceptional build quality that the Trust and EEDA were searching for.

    In line with its unique customer charter commitment to deliver excellent standards of service, Portakabin was able to ensure that exactly the right amount of support and resource was provided throughout the project.

    It was this extensive level of customer service and the company’s ability to provide quality products with rapid installation that were the determining factors in the architects’ decision to use this leading supplier.

Pepe Marinelli, Architect at Frank Shaw Associates said, “We were very impressed by the Portakabin tender-return programme and the level of customer service we received throughout… This was a huge project, the first of its kind, and Portakabin were the only company who could commit to such a rapid turnaround.” 

Portakabin can make this promise because their modular solutions are manufactured off-site in a controlled factory environment. Before they leave the Portakabin production centre, the buildings are fully fitted with all electrics, plumbing, heating, doors, windows and internal finishes. The Incubator was delivered on to the hospital site, where the Ultima modules were craned onto pre-prepared foundations in a matter of days to the delight of everyone involved.

The unique Customer Charter from Portakabin includes a promise to deliver projects on time and on budget. If they fail to meet the contract start date, customers will receive an additional six months’ warranty on the new building. In addition, their buildings are supplied with a pioneering 5-year product and 20-year structural warranty package.

We were delighted by the superior quality of the modular buildings. The Incubator provides a ground floor laboratory and first floor offices which the hospital is leasing to local businesses. Portakabin delivered on their promise to provide a state of the art modular building solution… we were very impressed with the Portakabin team.

Pepe Marinelli, Architect, Frank Shaw Associates

A unique promise for your complete peace of mind

Knowing you will meet your targets is a great starting point for any building project

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