The University of Salford has appointed the contractor to build the 22,500 sq ft North of England Robotics Innovation Centre on Frederick Road, and construction is to start early next year.
The Z-shaped building will occupy a site within the university’s innovation district in Salford. The existing technology house will be demolished to make way for Morgan Sindall Construction to build the scheme.
Designed by 5plus Architects, the project was boosted by a £6.5m contribution from the European Regional Development Fund in June.
The robotics centre is part of the £2.5bn Salford Crescent masterplan, a regeneration scheme being delivered by the university, Salford City Council and development partner English Cities Fund, a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England.
Details of the 20-year masterplan, which covers 240 acres, were revealed by Place North West last week.
The centre is intended to enable the university’s robotics and automation specialists to expand their work with SMEs around the country.
Disciplines to be explored and researched at the robotics centre include industry use of robotics for intelligent infrastructure, digital automation and supply chain improvement, and health, wellbeing and integrated care technologies.
Salford City Council granted planning approval for the project last September.
Shaun Jones, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction in Manchester, said: “The University of Salford’s masterplan reflects a bold vision in terms of developing a transformational future for the city and supporting the sectors that will drive the country forward.
“Throughout the robotics centre build programme, we plan to work closely with students, residents and community groups to ensure that our growing presence on campus brings benefits to the whole of Salford.”
Georgina Harris, director of engineering at the University of Salford, added: “We are really excited about our new robotics centre and the opportunity to work with Morgan Sindall Construction on its development.
“This facility could not be more timely, as companies look to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on their industries by making use of new technologies.”
And Tony Skipper, masterplanner and director of 5plus Architects, said: “This project will be one of the first to be delivered by the university within the innovation district, conceived under the Salford Crescent masterplan, and as such the project represents a new chapter in the regeneration of the wider area.”
The professional team on the robotics centre also features Dooley Associates, Faithful + Gould, RoC Consulting, and Buro Happold.
Earlier this year, Morgan Sindall Construction was appointed to build the university’s £65m science, engineering and environmental building.