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The Building Research Establishment is fighting to save its government research contracts worth up to £8 million. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has invited other firms to compete for the lucrative contracts and is considering a number of alternative bids. It will be offering five framework agreements for its buildings regulation research, with each worth up to £1.6 million over a five-year period. A spokesman for consultancy firm Oscar Faber, believed to be one of the bidding firms, said: 'We have bid for work in this area before and would be interested in any similar future opportunities.'

An announcement on the successful bidder is expected at the end of March.

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