Imminent start for £60m UCLan expansion

Contractor Bowmer & Kirkland is due to start on site this month at the £32m student centre and £28m civic square for the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

The HawkinsBrown-designed student centre is set to total 80,000 sq ft of education and amenity space, and will act as a gateway to the university from the city centre. The project also features a 90,000 sq ft public square to the front.

The scheme secured planning permission last January, and Place North West revealed that B+K had won the construction job in April, beating Bam. Completion is scheduled for 2020.

HawkinsBrown was picked as the architect following an international RIBA competition in 2017.  Inside, the student centre includes a reception area, learning spaces, and a student wellbeing support centre over four storeys. Alongside HawkinsBrown, the team includes BDP as planner and engineer; Aecom as project manager; Plincke as landscape architect, and Planit-IE on streetscape and public realm.

Just across from the Student Centre, Bam is nearing completion on a £30m Engineering Innovation Centre for the university, which includes specialist training space with equipment such as flight simulators, a graphene centre, automotive research and manufacturing, and electronic labs.

Both the student centre and the EIC form part of UCLan’s wider £250m masterplan which is a major overhaul of the university’s campus on Corporation Street near Preston’s train station.

Michael Ahern, UCLan’s chief operating officer, said: “We’ve seen the completion of two major projects in the past year – our multi-faith centre Oasis and the student Social Spaces, with the Engineering Innovation Centre nearing completion and preparing to welcome students in September.

“Bowmer + Kirkland has an impressive track record in delivering projects in the education sector so we’re looking forward to working together and seeing the focal point of our masterplan, the Student Centre and new civic square, starting to take shape over the coming months.”

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