The first phase of Lancaster University’s 350,000 sq ft Health Innovation Campus has started on site, with main contractor Bam beginning construction of an 80,000 sq ft innovation hub.
The building is situated on previously undeveloped land to the north of the University’s Bailrigg campus, and has been designed by architect John McAslan & Partners.
The project has an overall value of £41m, and it is understood Bam’s contract is in the region of £30m.
It will provide space for academics, healthcare providers, alongside science & technology firms and SME-focussed business space. Research will focus on digital innovation in healthcare and space is intended to be used by a variety of national and international firms.
It will also be home to the University’s health and medicine research departments.
Work on the first phase, which was approved by planners in February this year, is due to complete in September 2019.
Revised plans for the wider campus, which will cover 350,000 sq ft, were approved in 2016, after originally being mothballed following the closure of the North West Development Agency in 2014. Plans to turn the site into a science park were first proposed in 2007.
Lancaster University’s deputy vice-chancellor Andrew Atherton said: “Lancaster University’s role as an economic anchor and driver of innovation has been recognised nationally and we have helped thousands of businesses grow, especially in the North of England.
“The Health Innovation Campus is an ambitious and exciting extension of our partnerships to improve productivity through innovation, and promises to boost the region’s prosperity and help us all live longer and healthier lives.”
The campus has been funded with a £17m grant from the Regional Growth Fund and £8.6m from the European Regional Growth Fund. Lancaster University has provided the remaining £15.4m.
Bam is already on site at the university on its £30m redevelopment of its management school.