University delivers first class healthcare facility with Kier

Professor Judith Petts CBE receives the ceremonial keys to InterCity Place from Doug Lloyd.

The University of Plymouth has completed its transformation of one of Plymouth’s most iconic buildings in partnership with Kier Costruction.

InterCity Place, overlooking the city’s railway station, has undergone a £33m refurbishment that will strengthen the University’s position at the forefront of healthcare education in the South West.

It has created a state-of-the-art space in which to train and develop the next generation of nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, optometrists and social workers.

Within the 11-storey building, students will hone their skills in brand new teaching facilities using a range of health technologies and digital innovations.

The development is part of a University investment of almost £100million in teaching and learning that also includes cutting edge engineering and design facilities in the new Babbage Building.

The transformed spaces will welcome both new and returning students, including those about to receive their A-level results, from September 2023.

Work on the InterCity Place project has been led by the Kier Group, which also constructed the University’s £17million Derriford Research Facility, opened by HRH The Princess Royal in May 2018.

Professor Judith Petts CBE, the University’s Vice-Chancellor received the keys to InterCity Place earlier this week from Doug Lloyd, Operations Director of Kier Regional Building Western & Wales.

Professor Petts said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be able to take over this landmark building which offers so many opportunities for training to our next cadre of health professionals, and we are looking forward to our first students arriving in just a few weeks’ time.”

Doug Lloyd, regional director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: “We have been delighted to continue our work with the University of Plymouth, and to lead a project which will deliver so much for its students.

"I’m proud of our team, which includes local people and University of Plymouth graduates, and the work they have done to achieve this.

"It has been fantastic to see InterCity Place transformed into a state-of-the-art facility which will help train the next generation of healthcare professionals and will become a valuable asset to the university.”

Among the Kier team who worked on the project from start to finish was University of Plymouth graduate Megan Douglas.

The company sponsored her through her BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management degree, ahead of her becoming a quantity surveyor with Kier when she graduated.

“I had such a brilliant experience at the University, and I’m really pleased to have worked on InterCity Place since the project began back in March 2020,” said Megan.

“At first, I wondered how the project might take shape, but what’s been achieved is nothing short of amazing.

"It really shows what you can do, through a clear vision and hard work.

"The results are incredible and students are going to love this place.”

The regeneration of the railway building, which first opened in 1962, also furthers the University’s commitment to sustainability, which saw it become only the second university in the UK to secure carbon neutral status earlier this year. 

Designed to SKA Gold standard, InterCity Place benefits from photovoltaic panels on its top deck and uses air source heat pumps linked to mechanical ventilation and heat recovery units in individual rooms. 

The facades have been replaced with a modern and thermally efficient rain screen incorporating vertical fins for solar shading, while 94% of the project’s construction waste was diverted from landfill. 

The building’s completion marks the first major milestone in the Brunel Plaza development, being driven by a partnership involving the University, Plymouth City Council, Network Rail, and Great Western Railway, supported by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. 


If you would like to contact Sarah Walker about this, or any other story, please email