LJMU Copperas Hill Proposed Visual June 2018 Low Res

Morgan Sindall kicks off £64m Copperas Hill build

Working with Liverpool John Moores University, the contractor is set to complete a student life building and a sports building at the site near Liverpool Lime Street Station in 2020.

Initial enabling works have already been carried out, clearing the site for the scheme which secured planning permission last year.

Morgan Sindall will now begin main works to deliver two buildings: the larger of the two is the five-storey student life building, which will include advice and wellbeing services, study areas, a student union, and teaching 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.

Sheppard Robson is the architect, while the professional team also includes Barton Willmore, Faithful + Gould, Cundall, and WSP. Morgan Sindall is set to hand over both buildings next year; the scheme was procured for the Pagabo Major Works framework.

Mark Power, LJMU’s interim vice-chancellor and chief executive, said: “The new sports building and student life building will be superb additions to our facilities here at LJMU and offer our students the very best environment for their studies, sporting activities and the wide range of key support services we provide.

“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 reflects our vision of LJMU as a pioneering modern civic university.”

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.

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As someone who is part of LJMU I would have preferred a genuine Tier 1 main contractor on this scheme. It’s far too crucial a part of the LJMU estate masterplan to place with a Tier 2 main contractor.

By Alan B