Two in race for £32m UCLan student centre

Bam and Bowmer & Kirkland have been shortlisted for the HawkinsBrown-designed building in Preston, set to provide 78,500 sq ft of education and amenity space.

The scheme secured planning permission last January, and UCLan shortlisted three contractors for the job earlier this year. However, it is understood one of the bidders, Graham, has since dropped out of the running with Bam and B&K left in the race for the job.

HawkinsBrown was picked for the scheme following an international RIBA competition in 2017. The building will act as a gateway to the university from the city centre and also features a 90,000 sq ft public square to the front.

Inside, the building includes a reception area, learning spaces, and a student wellbeing support centre over four storeys. Alongside HawkinsBrown, the team also includes BDP as planner and engineer; Aecom as project manager; Plincke as landscape architect, and Planit-IE on streetscape and public realm.

A decision is set to be made in early April. Bam has reached the closing stages of the £30m Engineering Innovation Centre for the university; this sits opposite the site of the proposed student centre, and includes specialist training space with equipment such as flight simulators, a graphene centre, automotive research and manufacturing, and specialist electronic labs.

Both the student centre and the EIC form part of UCLan’s wider £250m masterplan which includes a major overhaul of the university’s campus on Corporation Street near Preston’s train station.

All parties were approached for comment.

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