Liverpool John Moores University has chosen Morgan Sindall to deliver its long-awaited development on Copperas Hill after the scheme was given the go-ahead by Liverpool City Council’s planning committee.
Morgan Sindall will deliver two new buildings at the three-and-a-half acre site: a student life building and a sports building, both designed by Sheppard Robson.
Designed by Sheppard Robson, the student life building will sit on the corner of Copperas Walk and Skelhorne Street, and will include a student advice and wellbeing centre; career advisory services; a student union; and common learning space.
Meanwhile, the Sports Building will be split over two storeys and will house an eight-court sports hall; three multi-purpose halls; a gym; and associated facilities. There are also plans for significant public realm improvements to help the area act as a gateway for the wider Knowledge Quarter development.
Liverpool City Council’s planning committee gave the project their backing at a meeting on 9 October, after previously deferring a decision pending a site visit.
Now, the University has confirmed the appointment of Morgan Sindall which will start on site later this year with a view to completing both buildings by 2020. Alongside Sheppard Robson and Morgan Sindall, the professional team includes planner Barton Willmore, Faithful + Gould, Cundall, and WSP.
Formerly home to the Royal Mail Sorting Office, the Copperas Hill site has been long mooted for development.
Initial plans for a £70m refurbishment of the sorting office were first put forward in 2014, and contractor Lendlease was brought on board to deliver a multi-use student facility, designed by BDP.
However, costs rose to £100m between 2014 and 2015, and work halted on the 280,000 sq ft building in late 2016. This led to a change in professional team with Lendlease no longer involved with the project.
The sorting office was demolished last year and the site has now been fully cleared.
Phil Vickerman, pro vice-chancellor for strategic initiatives at LJMU, said: “I’m delighted that we have taken another significant step forward with this exciting development on the Copperas Hill site.
“These new facilities will really enhance the university experience for our students and will help to link the different areas of our campus. Alongside Sensor City it will also strengthen the Knowledge Quarter, which is rightly regarded as one of the UK’s primary sites for research and innovation.
“The work will drive forward the regeneration of this key gateway site and completely transform the public realm and open spaces. This commitment to our community, the city and the wider city region perfectly reflects and supports our vision of LJMU as a pioneering modern civic university.”