Construction of the University of Central Lancashire’s Engineering Innovation Centre, the first building in the university’s £200m campus masterplan, is now underway.
The facility is anticipated to produce an increase of 500 locally trained graduates each year, in areas including aerospace, mechanical and energy technologies and engineering.
Equipment installed will include flight simulators, Formula One cars and specialist electronic labs, which will allow students to work on real world projects.
The EIC is due for completion in 2019.
Piling activities to form part of the foundations for the six-storey building have commenced, with a large piling rig now on site drilling 600mm diameter holes that are 25 meters long and filled with concrete and steel.
Once the foundations are complete, work will begin on the retaining wall and concrete cores of the before starting the steel frame.
SimpsonHaugh has led on the design of the facility in collaboration with Reiach & Hall Architects. BDP is providing engineering expertise, while AA Projects is providing project management, employer’s agent, quantity surveying and CDM services.
Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, said: “The start of work on site marks another exciting milestone for our Campus Masterplan and the creation of a powerful hub for developing and nurturing skills.
“The EIC will address the skills deficit in engineering specialists in Lancashire and nationally. A skilled engineering workforce is essential for the economy and the benefit of wider society.
“It has an important part to play, not just in confirming Lancashire’s role as a national centre for advanced manufacturing, but in maintaining the UK’s international leadership in engineering and innovation.”
The EIC has secured £10.5m via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s growth deal with the Government. The new facility has also received £5.8m from the European Regional Development Fund and £5m from HEFCE’s STEM Capital Fund.