University plans to create a multi-million pound engineering innovation centre in the heart of Preston are a step nearer reality.
The city-based University of Central Lancashire has announced a building partner for the £30m project.
Manchester-based BAM Construction has been appointed to build the state-of-the-art facility, with work expected to start in the new year.
The EIC will be an integrated hub for teaching, research and knowledge exchange, bringing together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.
With work starting in January it is scheduled to be ready for use in 2018.
The EIC is the first major milestone in UCLan’s £200 million Campus Masterplan and has been identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan and has secured £10.5m through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Lancashire ‘Growth Deal’ with Government.
Another cash injection of £5m from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) will go towards equipping the facility to the highest standard with advanced technology and specialist equipment.
Michael Ahern, UCLan’s chief operating officer 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.”
An application for European Regional Development Fund funding has been made to further enhance engagement between UCLan and local engineering companies.