Work begins on £30 million-plus Engineering Innovation Centre
(Media release University of Central Lancashire:) Preston, July 2017 - Construction of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) £30 million-plus Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC), a major milestone within the £200 million Campus Masterplan, is underway.
The state-of-the art facility, which will establish UCLan as a leader in engineering innovation, is anticipated to produce an increase of 500 locally trained graduates per year in areas including aerospace, mechanical and energy technologies and engineering.
Staff, students, and companies within the region will have access to top of the range equipment including flight simulators, Formula One cars and specialist electronic labs, which will allow students to work on live, real world projects.
Manchester-based BAM Construction is on site delivering the scheme, which is due for completion in 2019. Piling activities to form part of the foundations for the six-storey building have commenced, with a large piling rig now on site drilling 600mm diameter holes that are 25 meters long and filled with concrete and steel. Once the foundations are complete, work will begin on the retaining wall and concrete cores of the building before starting the steel frame.
SimpsonHaugh has led on the design of the facility in collaboration with Reiach and Hall Architects. BDP, which was founded in Preston, is providing engineering expertise, while AA Projects is providing project management, employer’s agent, quantity surveying and CDM services.
Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer at UCLan, said: ‘The start of work on site marks another exciting milestone for our Campus Masterplan and the creation of a powerful hub for developing and nurturing skills. The EIC will address the skills deficit in engineering specialists in Lancashire and nationally. A skilled engineering workforce is essential for the economy and the benefit of wider society. It has an important part to play, not just in confirming Lancashire’s role as a national centre for advanced manufacturing, but in maintaining the UK’s international leadership in engineering and innovation.’
Simon Atkinson, Project Manager for BAM, added: ‘We are thrilled to have started construction of such an exciting building for UCLan and the first project in the Masterplan, that will transform the campus and the city of Preston. This is our 34th university project in the north west, so our team understands the importance of both minimising disruption and engaging staff, students and the local community in the project as much as possible.’
David Green, Partner at SimpsonHaugh, said: ‘We are delighted to be involved in the creation of this dynamic, outward looking Engineering Innovation Centre which will act as a showcase for the work of UCLan, directly addressing the key public space at the heart of the university’s masterplan and providing a wide range of teaching, workshop and industry engagement spaces.’
Paul Hughes, Project Lead at AA Projects, commented: ‘It is fantastic to see work commencing on site for this pioneering development that will help to drive innovation in the region and knowledge exchange between the University and wider industry.’
The EIC is an integrated teaching and research space which will deliver a range of key objectives, including ensuring that local skills reflect social and economic needs and increasing the number of females in engineering careers.
Identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan, the EIC has secured £10.5 million via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnerships’ Growth Deal with the Government. The new facility has also received £5.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £5million from HEFCE’s STEM Capital Fund.
Notes to Editor:
The Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) will be a state-of-the-art facility, with integrated teaching and research space. The £30 million building will create an environment that inspires teaching, research and knowledge exchange, establishing UCLan as a leader in engineering innovation.
By 2020 there will be a shortage of 40,000 engineering graduates. UCLan aims to plug this skills gap by working with local schools and colleges to encourage more students to take up engineering as a career option.
We anticipate that the centre will produce an increase of 500 locally trained graduates per year in areas such as aerospace, mechanical and oil engineering. The EIC has been identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan and has secured £10.5 million via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnerships’ Growth Deal with the Government. The new facility has also received £5.8million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £5million from HEFCE’s STEM Capital Fund.
Staff, students and local companies will have access to state of the art equipment including flight simulators, Formula One cars and specialist electronics labs, which will also allow our students to work on live, real world projects.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Since those early days it has grown into one of the UK’s largest universities with a staff and student community approaching 38,000 and an employment-focused course portfolio containing over 350 undergraduate programmes and nearly 250 postgraduate courses. The University has an established research reputation with world-leading or internationally excellent work taking place within the areas of Business, Health, Humanities and Science.
As a truly global institution with an established campus in Cyprus, UCLan’s student body includes 120 nationalities and its partnership network extends to 125 countries. In 2013 the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings awarded UCLan the full five stars for its global outlook in all aspects of international educational provision. In 2016 the Centre for World University Rankings placed UCLan in the top 3.7 percent of all worldwide universities.
The University has a strong focus on continually improving the student experience and recently unveiled a 10-year, multi-million pound plan to redevelop its Preston Campus to create an attractive and inviting, world-class campus helping to create jobs, kick-start regeneration and attract inward investment into the City.
University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) website: https://www.uclan.ac.uk/