The first major stage of the University of Central Lancashire’s £200 million new campus masterplan will begin in January.
Bam Construction has been appointed to build UCLan’s £30 million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) – across the university roundabout from Friargate Court, Portergate Property Management’s 244-room student and professionals’ residence that opens this month.
Portergate has led the way in the University Quarter of Preston with a new style of accommodation aimed at not just at students, but also apprentices and key workers in the city and surrounding enterprise zones and major employers.
The EIC will combine teaching, research and business space with construction expected to begin in January 2017 and complete for summer 2018.
Like Friargate Court, the EIC is also part of a new style of educational resource that does not just cater to undergraduates.
Karen Preece, managing director of Portergate Property Management, explains: “Both the University and Portergate recognise the changing world of educational provision and the lifestyle that goes with that.
“At Friargate Court we are offering accommodation for a wider range of residents providing homes for young people at different stages of their lives.
“Of course, undergraduates, mature students and overseas students are very important to us and we cater for them all very well here in Preston.
“But we also see a trend for young professionals who are not yet ready to buy their own home and are very much used to living in studios and high class shared accommodation.”
Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, is reported in media outlet Place North West as saying: “Bam has extensive experience in the education sector and recent key projects include the University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute, University College London Academy, and University of Arts London’s St Martin’s Campus.”
The EIC is the first major part of UCLan’s £200 million new campus masterplan. Funding of £10.5 million has been provided for the project by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal with Government. A further £5 million came from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. An application is pending with the European Regional Development Fund.
SimpsonHaugh & Partners is leading on the design in collaboration with Reiach & Hall Architects. BDP is providing engineering advice.
Friargate Court is taking bookings across all classes of accommodation from September.