Enabling work has started on the Preston Campus
Morgan Sindall Construction’s North West team has started building the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) new Veterinary School.
The exciting project, which entails the partial refurbishment of a current building and the creation of the four-storey structure on UCLan’s Preston Campus, will support the education of students from diverse backgrounds to excel in the study and practice of veterinary medicine and animal science courses.
When complete, the nearly 50,000 square feet School will provide a state-of-the-art centre of learning for students studying a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across the veterinary and animal sciences.
The new building, which is being built to universal accessibility standards to ensure that students with a range of learning needs are supported, will include several purpose-built training amenities, including high-specification anatomical skills laboratories, simulated operating theatres, diagnostic suites and pharmacies, microscopy labs, dental rooms and immersive teaching facilities.
As part of the project, elements of the already existing Greenbank Building will be refurbished to include a dedicated area for kennels, the installation of new simulated consultation rooms and a physiotherapy suite.
"It is fantastic to see spades in the ground and building work start on creating our technologically advanced School of Veterinary Medicine"— Professor Graham Baldwin, UCLan Vice-Chancellor
Incorporating the School’s strong ‘one health’ ethos and integration of sustainability goals, the new development aims to qualify for a BREEAM Excellent rating.
Morgan Sindall, renowned for its Intelligent Solutions approach, has successfully collaborated with expert supply chain partners to embrace innovative Modern Methods of Construction, notably the use of delta beams within the new build structural frame. This solution will significantly reduce embodied carbon within the building and accelerate the project timeline to ensure the timely opening of the School.
It is the latest collaboration between the University and Morgan Sindall following the JB Firth Building, completed in 2011.
Professor Graham Baldwin, UCLan Vice-Chancellor, said: “It is fantastic to see spades in the ground and building work start on creating our technologically advanced School of Veterinary Medicine.
“As Lancashire’s only Vet School, it will play a major role in developing the veterinary practitioners and leaders of the future and supporting economic growth in the north.
“Morgan Sindall has a very impressive track record of delivering inspirational and attractive learning environments at universities across the country so we are looking forward to working together.”
"We are thrilled to be contributing to economic growth and the advancement of veterinary practitioners within Lancashire"— Richard Potts, Area Director of Morgan Sindall Construction
Richard Potts, Area Director of Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We’re incredibly pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with UCLan through the new Veterinary School project. Our team has been working collaboratively with UCLan through the preconstruction stage to develop Intelligent Solutions that will enhance the learning environment and enable the university to be more sustainable.
"We are thrilled to be contributing to economic growth and the advancement of veterinary practitioners within Lancashire, as well as helping to make the University and its community an increasingly attractive place to live, work and study.”
The building, on Victoria Street, will be home to foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and it will also house a number of Anatomage virtual dissection tables, and a range of simulated clinical environments making UCLan one of the first in the world to embed cutting-edge technology into veterinary education.
Dr Heather Bacon OBE, Dean of UCLan’s School of Veterinary Medicine, commented: “This is an exciting time, and it is a huge step forward for us. Creating an accessible, sustainable and state-of-the-art building, which will house world-class clinical simulation and teaching spaces, will allow us to deliver innovative and practically-relevant teaching to a diverse community of students.”
The first cohort of students on the flagship BVMS Veterinary Medicine & Surgery five-year degree programme start their studies in September 2023. One of those is Denva Coupland, from York, who has spent the last academic year studying bioveterinary science at UCLan and will move on to the BVMS in two months.
Dr Bacon added: “I'm very excited to see the building's progress and it will be incredible to call somewhere a home on campus. The architecture, as well as proximity to the central campus, is brilliant, and I can’t wait to use the state-of-the-art facilities.”
It is anticipated the project will be completed in the first quarter of 2025.
L-r Morgan Sindall's James Gaskell, vet student Denva Coupland, Morgan Sindall's Paul Galloway, UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin, Head of UCLan's Vet School Dr Heather Bacon OBE, and architect Alan Williams, Partner at Wilson Mason LLP.