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University’s new campus is taking shape

By Joe Sweeney | Wolverhampton | Education | Published:

Construction work to transform the derelict former Springfield Brewery site in Wolverhampton into the city university’s new multi-million pound National Centre for Construction and Development Excellence is gathering pace.

Development work on Wolverhampton University's new campus on the site for the former Springfield Brewery near the city centre

Building on the £100 million project began in mid-2018. It will see the Grade ll listed building transformed into the University of Wolverhampton’s new School of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Once completed, the campus will play host to education and training for people aged from 14 right up to senior professional level.

The school will specialise in supporting skills in architecture, construction, civil engineering, building control, building services, facilities management, quantity surveying, planning, construction management, housing and commercial work.

Councillor Ian Brookfield, leader of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The development will make it an internationally significant centre of excellence for the construction industry – and is a major game-changer for our city.

“At a time when the need has never been greater for skilled workers in the construction sector, we will have an asset in our city that will boost skills and jobs for people across the city, region and internationally.

“This development takes the city to the next level by making it a UK urban innovation hub.

“We will become the go-to city for expertise in getting more former industrial land ready for development and raise the skills bar in this sector,” he added.

The campus will accommodate around 1,100 students and 65 staff, although student numbers are expected to rise to more than 1,500 within the first few years. Outside, the development will also feature a vast landscaped piazza and courtyard.

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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has also given his backing to the development.

He said: “The Black Country and its coal was at the forefront of the industrial revolution in the 1800s. Now, in the 21st century, it is time the region reclaimed its place as a world leader in construction.”

The new campus development also complements nearby work that has recently been undertaken on the city’s old Low Level Station and the adjacent new Aldi superstore.

Design work on the former brewery building – which is set to span three floors – will restore and retain the former brewery’s historic clock tower and outer-brick facade.

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The facility will include specialist teaching and social learning spaces along with design studios, specialist laboratories and multi-disciplinary workshops. It will also house a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, offices, meeting rooms, Information Communication Technology (ICT) rooms and a fully-fitted studio.

City of Wolverhampton University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Jackie Dunne described the development as “a fantastic addition to the city” and a major key in Wolverhampton’s ongoing regeneration process.

Originally opened in 1873, the historic Springfield Brewery traded until 1990. The building was later destroyed by fire in 2006. Plans to build a new university campus on the site were first heralded in 2014.

Joe Sweeney

By Joe Sweeney
@JoeSweeneyLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Wolverhampton.

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