JMU starts £80m Copperas Hill development

Liverpool John Moores University has published the first invitation to tender for architects to design the redevelopment of the three acre former Royal Mail sorting depot in the city centre.

LJMU acquired the site in 2011 for £2.6m from the Royal Mail after beating several local developers to the eagerly sought-after opportunity. The development land sits behind Lime Street Station between the retail core and the university district of Hope Street and Brownlow Hill. The site is bounded by Copperas Hill, Russell Street, Royal Mail Street and Hawke Street.

The development brief describes extending the 250,000 sq ft five-storey building to more than 400,000 sq ft to form the "hub" of a "Connected University Village" in the knowledge quarter.

The procurement notice says: "The University Strategic Plan sets out the creation of a Connected University Village within the Knowledge Quarter of Liverpool. It is envisaged that the development of the site will create the central hub of the Village and will connect all University campuses within the Knowledge Quarter."

The sorting office will be used for teaching and office space, and is likely to house the relocated sports, dance and teacher training departments from IM Marsh, a campus in South Liverpool which is likely to be sold for private housing in the next five years.

Further procurement notices are due to be published for quantity surveying, engineering and other services.

The expected design and build programme for the Copperas Hill redevelopment and extension is from June 2014 to August 2019. The development budget is between £60m and £80m.

Designers have until 17 March to complete the pre-qualifying questionnaire.

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