£30 million engineering facility moves towards development phase
The creation of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) £30 million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) has moved a step closer with the naming of a preferred construction partner.
Manchester-based BAM Construction has been appointed to build the state-of-the-art facility, with construction expected to begin in January 2017 and completed for summer 2018.
Located in the heart of Preston city centre, the EIC will be an integrated hub for teaching, research and knowledge exchange, bringing together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.
Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer at UCLan, said: “The selection of BAM Construction is excellent news and takes us even closer to realising our vision for the EIC. 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.
“It’s great to be working with another North West company and BAM is committed to creating opportunities for work experience so the partnership will help the local economy even before the EIC is complete.”
We are delighted to have been appointed as UCLan’s preferred contractor to deliver such an exciting project for the University and for Preston. We will bring our national and international expertise to make the EIC a success.
BAM’s Pre-construction Director, Adrian Blackie, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as UCLan’s preferred contractor to deliver such an exciting project for the University and for Preston. We will bring our national and international expertise to make the project a success, but as a regional team of people from all across the North West we are also passionate about making a difference by creating many employment, training, educational and social opportunities for UCLan students, staff and the wider local community.”
The EIC, which is the first major milestone in UCLan’s £200 million Campus Masterplan, has been identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan and has secured £10.5 million via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) Lancashire ‘Growth Deal’ with Government.
It received a further £5 million cash injection from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) which will go towards equipping the facility to the highest standard with advanced technology and specialist equipment. An application for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding has also been made to further enhance engagement between the University and local engineering companies.
The EIC will deliver a range of key objectives including reclaiming Lancashire’s role as a national centre for advanced manufacturing, ensuring that local skills reflect social and economic needs, and increasing the number of females in engineering careers.