Fears coronavirus could delay University of Wolverhampton's £100m Springfield Brewery campus

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Coronavirus | Published:

The opening of a new £100 million university campus could be delayed because of the coronavirus crisis, a senior figure has admitted.

University and project bosses at the site last month

Construction is nearing completion on the former Springfield Brewery site, which has been transformed by the University of Wolverhampton ahead of its planned opening in September.

But there are now doubts about whether the campus, which will act as the catalyst for the regeneration of the wider area, will open on time.

Vice chancellor Geoff Layer said it was one of many uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has faced criticism over construction teams continuing to work during the current lockdown.

Mr Layer said he hoped the UK would begin to emerge from the crisis soon, allowing the plans to continue as intended.

A new cyber centre is also due to open in Hereford later this year in another sign of the university's expanding reach.

Mr Layer said: "There is tremendous uncertainty. We have got building projects in Springfield and Hereford and elsewhere.

"We've all planned for them being open in September and they were due to be handed over in May. The contractors are doing the very best they can but this is a very difficult situation."


He added: "If this occurs in the way it has occurred in China where it's a number of weeks and you come back out of it I don't see us changing any of our plans.

"We've already planned a significant expansion of healthcare courses, and that's going to be in even more need. We're not planning for any change at this moment in time."

The Grade ll listed Springfield is being brought back to life as a school of architecture and work has been ongoing since 2018.

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.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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