Copperas Hill Exterior March 2021 (1)
The building was designed by Sheppard Robson

LJMU’s £64m Copperas Hill completes

Sarah Townsend

The university has almost finished its long-awaited redevelopment of a 3.5-acre gateway site next to Liverpool Lime Street station into a students’ centre and sports building.

Main contractor Morgan Sindall Construction has reached practical completion on 280,000 sq ft of new facilities, which are expected to be open in time for the 2021/22 academic year in September, subject to Government Covid-19 guidance.

Liverpool John Moores University sought to regenerate the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office in Liverpool City Centre through its £64.5m scheme, which won planning approval in 2018 after a previous deferral by the council.

The completed project comprises a five-storey Student Life Building on the corner of Copperas Walk and Skelhorne Street. This will house a range of student-facing services including an advice and wellbeing centre, career advisory services, a student union, general teaching and common learning space.

An adjoining Sports Building, meanwhile, is split over two storeys and is to house an eight-court sports hall, two multi-purpose halls, a gym and associated facilities. The scheme has been tweaked since 2018, for example, the building was originally to be stepped in height over two and three storeys.

Copperas Hill Student Life Building

The Student Life centre will house wellness services, learning space and a union

The development also include public open spaces intended for use by the local community as well as students and staff.

Professor Ian Campbell, vice-chancellor of LJMU, said: “We have taken handover of our fantastic facilities on Copperas Hill – a major development that is a key element of our estates masterplan through which we have invested in new facilities and refurbished existing buildings.

“Our priority is to provide our students with an outstanding experience during their time at LJMU and these facilities will provide the perfect environment for study, research, sports and fitness and to access the wide range of support we offer.”

Copperas Hill is intended to better connect LJMU’s City and Mount Pleasant campuses in the city centre. The construction project is estimated to have produced a £108m return on investment, Campbell added.

“The Sports Building and Student Life building will not only form a key component of the university’s student experience, but will also be two of the first sights of visitors from around the world as they arrive into our city from Lime Street Station,” said Richard Potts, Liverpool area director for Morgan Sindall Construction.

“Along with our ongoing schemes at the Knowledge Quarter, this represents another key component of our work in helping to create a city centre that will thrive in the years ahead.”

The pre-contract design team was led by Faithful+Gould following procurement though Pagabo’s Professional Services Framework. Pagabo’s Major Works Framework was used to appoint Morgan Sindall to deliver the full build. The architect was Sheppard Robson.

Copperas Hill Sports Building

The Sports Building contains an eight-court sports hall and two multi-purpose halls

Your Comments

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Looks really smart and a good location

By Anonymous

Looks excellent! But they need to concentrate on what is being taught as well – rather than trying to be a red brick uni – and send the students out having an idea how to do a job, Which isn’t the case at the min.

By Bob Dawson

Not very inspiring.

By Brian

Looking really good Liverpool

By Anonymous

Entirely depends on the course, Bob. I studied there and I’m doing just fine. I think the whole system is broken, not an individual institution.

By Peter Stoba

Please note. ‘Slightly tweaked’

By Blob

Aren’t university buildings supposed to inspire you, not make you feel a bit dreary an fed up, because that’s how I feel every time I walk past it…

By Angry Anderson

The original intention I recall was to use this site as a link or pivot to join up the main campuses in the city centre by creating a continuous “dedicated” walkway between Byrom street and the Mount Pleasant/Hope Street areas, good idea I hope they can continue it, this building was scled down due to economic concerns, good job properly in hindsight now. I believe more development for this area is planned?

By Liverpolitis

@Bob Dawson – maybe that’s what the careers advisory service is for…mentioned above

By Steve

Looks great at least its not square and dull

By Anonymous