UCLan Student Centre

Bowmer + Kirkland wins £32m UCLan student centre

Charlie Schouten

The contractor has been picked ahead of rival bidder Bam to deliver the Hawkins\Brown-designed building in Preston, set to provide nearly 80,000 sq ft of education and amenity space, Place North West understands.

The scheme secured planning permission last January, and Place North West revealed UCLan had shortlisted three contractors for the job earlier this year: Bam, B+K, and Graham. The latter dropped out of the bidding leaving Bam and B+K left in the race, and UCLan has now confirmed the appointment of B&K following a 10-day standstill period.

Hawkins\Brown was picked for the scheme following an international RIBA competition in 2017. The building will act as a gateway to the university from the city centre and also features a 90,000 sq ft public square to the front.

Inside, the building includes a reception area, learning spaces, and a student wellbeing support centre over four storeys. Alongside Hawkins\Brown, the team also includes BDP as planner and engineer; Aecom as project manager; Plincke as landscape architect, and Planit-IE on streetscape and public realm.

The scheme is a coup for B+K and is among one of the most prominent jobs the contractor has won in the city.

Just across from the site, Bam has reached the closing stages of the £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 specialist electronic labs.

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

B+K and UCLan were both contacted for comment.

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