Consultancies appointed to Blackpool ‘multiversity’

Architect HawkinsBrown is to design a higher education facility next to Blackpool North train station, as part of the ongoing Talbot Gateway regeneration.  

HawkinsBrown won the £120,000 design contract after beating off competition from 19 other studios, including Feilden Clegg Bradley, AHR Architects, 5plus Architects, Broadway Malyan and Sheppard Robson. 

Blackpool Council has also appointed Joseph Boniface Architects and Freckleton-based surveyor Leeming Associates to the project team, alongside CBRE and Amion, which will take on consultancy roles.

The ‘multiversity’, to be built in conjunction with Fylde College, will help support skills growth in Lancashire through the provision of “a high quality, technical and professional curriculum, co-created with local employers and in partnership with Lancaster University”, according to the council.

Courses on artificial intelligence, data, clean growth, and the future of mobility will all be available at the multiversity. 

The project, which has been allocated up to £10m from the council’s successful Town Deal bid, will see the relocation of Fylde College’s Park Road campus into the town centre and support the town’s wider regeneration strategy, according to Blackpool Council. 

Katie Tonkinson, partner at HawkinsBrown, said: “The brief to create an iconic building for the new university campus and student quarter in Blackpool town centre really appealed to us.  

We knew from our previous working collaborations and our expertise within the field of higher and further education, we had a very strong team of experts that we were keen to bring together who can really deliver something special on this ambitious scheme.”  

Joseph Boniface, director of Joseph Boniface Architects, said: “As well as being a former employee of HawkinsBrown, I have collaborated with the other consortium members on a number of projects in the past and we work well together.

“Being based locally in Blackpool will be key to the speed and agility of the project, assisting with the analysis of the area, site investigations and developing the project design.” 

The wider regeneration of Talbot Gateway, which includes more than 300,000 sq ft of offices and a hotel, is being delivered for the council by regeneration specialist Muse Developments.

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As we have seen so many hotels closing down because of the lack of a holiday makers, Blackpool council opening more hotels for is a nonsense aslo to build a campus in a wrong place. We needs a new attraction to bring more visitors to our town.

By A. Zak.

What a lost opportunity to design an inspiring building

By David Tyler

The new Holiday Inn in the picture is a disappointment design-wise. The ‘Multiversity’ and the new office/health building should be a lot better.

By Steve Webberley

A. Zak. I disagree with you here. This is precisely the best place to build a campus. It’s adjacent the railway station, and in the town centre so the students are also supporting the local shops and businesses.

Good news on the attraction – the council are building a massive mixed tourist attraction on the Central car park site right in town.

By Steve Webberley

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