Morgan Sindall lines up first scheme on £800m Salford masterplan

Morgan Sindall has been named preferred bidder for the University of Salford’s £45m engineering centre, the first building in the £800m masterplan it announced earlier this year.

Although detailed designs have not yet been revealed for the building, it will form part of the University’s Peel Park campus. The preferred bidder will work under a design-and-build contract, alongside project manager Faithful + Gould and architect Sheppard Robson, to bring forward detailed designs for the scheme.

It is the first major project to be brought forward by the University for its £800m masterplan, which it is bringing forward in partnership with Salford City Council.

Designed by architect 5plus, the wider masterplan stretches over 240 acres and includes the University’s existing campus, areas around the Crescent, Peel Park, and Frederic Road North.

Across the area, the masterplan outlines opportunities to develop 1m sq ft of education floorspace; 6m sq ft of commercial space targeted at industrial growth sectors; around 2m sq ft of public realm, green landscaped routes, and cycleways; and 2,500 new homes and apartments.

There are also proposals for a hotel and conferencing suite; a school; and around 2,000 car parking spaces set across a number of multi-storey car parks across the area. Around 62 acres of the total site has been set aside for parkland.

Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett outlined the masterplan at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes this March in a bid to attract international investment into the scheme.

Other education projects in Greater Manchester that Morgan Sindall is working on include a nine-storey arts and media building on the site of the former Mabel Tylecote building for Manchester Metropolitan University.

The 96,000 sq ft development includes teaching space for the University’s arts & humanities faculty, including creative writing, the Manchester School of Theatre, and languages & linguistics.

Morgan Sindall’s role as preferred bidder also comes as the contractor and the University announced a collaborative partnership to support students in the built environment.

Through the partnership, Morgan Sindall will provide site visits across its projects in Salford, which include the NCP at New Bailey, and will also offer support to PhD student by providing research opportunities within the company.

Members of the team will also continue to undertake regular lectures at the University’s School of the Built Environment, as well as offering regular site visits, workshops and experience in preparing project proposals for design, planning, costing and development to the school’s students.

The contractor currently employs 18 alumni from the university in its North West team and has eight staff members studying there.

Sam Grogan, pro vice-chancellor for student experience at the University of Salford added: “Producing students who are fully equipped for the demands of the modern workplace is the key aim of the University of Salford.

“The best way to do this is to work as closely as possible with industry to co create and co-deliver flexible, agile outward facing courses and to provide our students with the work experiences that will give them with the skills required. This partnership with Morgan Sindall will do just that for many of our students and it is one I’m very excited about.”

Karen Fairhurst, project manager at Morgan Sindall, said: “Morgan Sindall is focused on developing work ready graduates and the partnership with Salford University is a fantastic opportunity to work with and nurture some really talented individuals.

“We aim to use our projects as a textbook in construction, providing real world examples which will enhance their understanding of the pertinent challenges within our industry.”

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