Wates starts Manchester university building

Wates Construction has started on the £12m Learning Commons building on Oxford Road for The University of Manchester.

The building will provide students with new learning space, IT facilities, and support services.

Designed by architecture practice Sheppard Robson, the property will replace the university's former Refectory and Moberly Tower buildings, which were partially demolished earlier this year.

The new building will be flanked by Oxford Road, Lime Grove and Burlington Street.

John Shannon, business unit director for Wates Construction, said: "This is set to be a world-class building which will be of huge benefit to the university and its students, whilst also contributing to the ongoing regeneration of the Oxford Road corridor. We see the higher education sector as the core of our business and we can bring our experience of successfully working in and around live campus environments to The University of Manchester."

Construction of the Learning Commons building is set to complete in May 2012. Wates said the build programme will also include improvements to the surrounding public realm.

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