A new £60million student centre at Preston’s university is to be built by a Derbyshire-based firm.Advertisement
Bowmer and Kirkland have been appointed to build the student centre which will face into Adelphi Square.
Covering 7,304 square metres the building, alongside the new public square, is due to be completed during 2020.
Roadworks began this week on the Adelphi roundabout, near the University of Central Lancashire campus, which sees major remodelling.
Read more: This is exactly how the new Adelphi Square is due to work
Bowmer + Kirkland have previously completed major projects for the University of Northampton and the University of Newcastle.
UCLan’s chief operating officer Michael Ahern said: “We’ve seen the completion of two major projects in the past year – our multi-faith centre Oasis and the student Social Spaces, with the Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) nearing completion and preparing to welcome students in September.
“Bowmer + Kirkland has an impressive track record in delivering projects in the education sector so we’re looking forward to working together and seeing the focal point of our Masterplan, the Student Centre and new civic square, starting to take shape over the coming months.”
Mr Ahern explained the decision to award the contract to a Derbyshire-based firm.
He said: “With all projects of this financial value, the University is legally bound to follow a specific and very robust procurement process, during which companies are given the opportunity to respond to a competitive tender. Submissions were presided over by a panel and Bowmer + Kirkland was selected as the main contractor to deliver the Student Centre and new square. Many factors are considered, including financial value, technical capability, and a track record in delivering complex projects of this nature.
“As is the case with all projects within the wider Masterplan, any firm that is selected to deliver works has been encouraged to follow the Preston Model, and as part of their tender response have signed up to a series of Social Value performance indicators part of which includes a commitment to maximising subcontractor spend on local labour and materials to ensure there is a wider economic benefit.”
Pro-chancellor and chair of the university board David Taylor said: “This is a real milestone for our Masterplan. It signals the start of a highly significant project – not only in terms of what it will mean to our staff and students but also the people who live, work in and visit Preston. The new square will provide a fantastic, civic space for all the community to use, and heralds a new vision for the Adelphi Quarter.”
North west regional director for Bowmer + Kirkland Neil Brook said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by UCLan to build this prestigious and important facility for them. Our entire North West team is looking forward to working with the University and other project partners to deliver this important scheme for the University and the city of Preston.”
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Blog Preston contacted the leader of Preston City Council for comment.
Councillor Matthew Brown has pushed for anchor institutions, such as UCLan, to try and keep their spend within the city’s economy.
Cllr Brown told Blog Preston: “We are delighted this development is beginning as it reinforces UCLan’s commitment to regenerate our local economy as a ‘civic anchor institution’.
“UCLan recently signed up to the Civic Universities Commission, is often mentioned in the media as an essential part of the Preston Model, and is an excellent partner to work with that has significantly increased spend to locally based suppliers as well as committed to expanding the size of the cooperative economy and utilise the use of new technology for civic benefit.
“We understand it may be difficult for Preston based companies to deliver a contract of the size and scale needed so we are hopeful locally based companies will be considered through the subcontractual arrangements on this large contract as well as a commitment to employ local people with the main contractor.
“Preston City Council looks forward to supporting the university to achieve these aims.”
Read more: Preston university pledges to put city at its heart