MMU SODA October 2018 1

Winter start for MMU digital school

Charlie Schouten

Kier will start work on Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Digital Arts in winter after confirming a deal first reported by Place North West in February this year.

The contractor is due to complete the building by spring 2021 after finalising its deal for the 61,000 sq ft building with MMU.

Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the digital school at the All Saints Campus secured planning permission in December last year and features a striking digital screen and façade.

Located on the site of the Students’ Union car park on Higher Chatham Street, the five-storey building is set to house teaching space for subjects including film, animation, UX design, photography, games design, and artificial intelligence.

There are proposals for a pedestrianised street between the Benzie Building and the new facility, while the pedestrianisation of Higher Chatham Street is aimed to integrate the site with the wider MMU campus.

Supported by a grant from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, SODA has a total expected cost of around £35m. The building will house around 1,000 students a year and is estimated to generate around £13m annually for the local area.

The professional team also features Turner & Townsend, Buro Happold, and planner Barton Willmore.

Peter Commins, managing director for Kier Regional Building North West, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to continue our relationship with Manchester Met the project is a key part of Manchester Metropolitan Universities Estates Masterplan. The SODA building will give students access to state-of-the-art facilities, enabling them to study an exciting range of subjects under one roof.”

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