Work gets under way on £60m UCLan 'civic square' development

From left, Michael Ahern, UCLans Chief Operating Officer, Bob Turner, Project Manager at UCLan, Caitlin McLaren, Students Union President, David Taylor, UCLans Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board and John Kirkland, Life President of construction company Bowmer + Kirkland.
From left, Michael Ahern, UCLans Chief Operating Officer, Bob Turner, Project Manager at UCLan, Caitlin McLaren, Students Union President, David Taylor, UCLans Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board and John Kirkland, Life President of construction company Bowmer + Kirkland.
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Work has begun on a massive new £60m city centre development for Preston’s university.

University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Student Centre and civic square will see a 7,304 sqm building providing a new reception area, informal learning spaces and a student wellbeing support centre, as well as a new civic square being created, forming what university bosses say will be an ‘iconic gateway’ to Preston.

The Student Centre will comprise over 387 tonnes of steel and will also have over 1,850 sqm of glazing, which at its highest aspect will stretch to 13 metres tall.

Incorporated into the 5,400 sqm of natural stone granite paving that will form the new civic square, there will be controllable threads of lighting that will create dynamic pathways.

Bosses say wider improvements to landscaping and the public realm in the Adelphi Quarter of the city will also be carried out as part of the wider programme of works.

Michael Ahern, UCLan’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’ve seen the completion of three projects in the past year – our multi-faith centre Oasis and the student Social Spaces, not forgetting the Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) which will welcome students this September and now we’re starting work on this flagship project.

“We wanted this project to be a real asset to the city and the thought and innovation that has gone into the design and build is something we can be rightly proud of. It will make such positive difference to the campus and Preston.”

David Taylor, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University Board, added: “This 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.”