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FBW Group has been appointed as consultants to design a project at a leading medical research centre in The Gambia as it continues to build on its strong working relationships with major health organisations across Africa.

The development work at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM) in Fajara, is FBW’s first major West African design project.

FBW is designing a new accommodation block and a state-of-the-art training centre, totalling around 2,000 sq. metres, which will boost the facilities available on site.

It is the latest in a series of medical development work that FBW Group has helped deliver in Africa since its creation 25 years ago, which includes work for MRC and LSHTM.

Both organisations are involved in a range of projects in Africa, partnering to boost research capacity into some of the current and emerging health issues facing the continent.

FBW has built a strong working relationship with MRC that goes back more than a decade. It includes creating the first phase of a $1million (US) state-of-the-art research clinic in Entebbe.

That clinic was a joint project involving MRC, The Wellcome Trust, the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and LSHTM.

The MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM is one of two research units established in sub- Saharan Africa by MRC. It is home to a unique concentration of scientific expertise and high-quality medical and health research platforms in the West African region.

FBW was invited to take part in a competitive bidding process. It has now been appointed as architect and design, structural and MEP engineer on the upgrade.

Stuart Harley, FBW’s director of operations, said: “We have a strong working relationship with MRC that goes back more than 10 years and we’re extremely pleased to have been appointed to this latest development for organisations that are at the forefront of medical research in Africa.

“It is also pleasing to be widening our footprint on the continent and to be working on a major design project in West Africa for the first time.”

He added: “The design work we will be carrying out will improve the facilities at the unit. For instance, the improved accommodation will mean that people attending short-term courses will be able to stay on site.

“And the training centre, which will be a stand-out building, will deliver improved teaching and conference facilities that will be of massive value, both in-house and externally.”

Dr Davis Nwakanma, the chief operating officer of MRC Gambia Unit, said: “We look forward to significant benefits from this new relationship with FBW.

“The unit is confident that their expertise in the field of design and development of educational, health and corporate infrastructure will enable the delivery of a truly state-of-art facility to support the of our role as a regional hub for training and capacity building for the next generation of health research scientists”.

The completed Entebbe clinic has a range of new facilities to host leading, high-standard medical research, including vaccine trials.