Balfour Beatty to build University of Manchester's £287m engineering campus

Balfour Beatty has announced it will be constructing one of the largest projects ever undertaken by a UK higher education institution after being awarded the £287m contract for the University of Manchester’s engineering campus.

Back in 2015, the university announced it would be ploughing a six-figure sum into the Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) to transform the way in which the institution educates future engineers. Construction should take four years and the campus hopes to form an essential part of the University of Manchester’s ten-year masterplan to create a world-class estate benefitting staff, students and visitors. On completion, the development is set to benefit and host up to 7,000 students and 1,300 staff.

The infrastructure group say workforce numbers could reach as many as 1,000, with some made up by apprenticeships and graduate placements. There will also be new job opportunities for unemployed local people through the university’s construction academy.

Dean Banks, Balfour Beatty managing director, UK Construction Services, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to construct the MECD, one of the largest single developments ever undertaken by a higher education institution in the UK. We have extensive expertise in the higher education sector having delivered schemes such as the Holyrood postgraduate village at the University of Edinburgh, The Diamond building for the Engineering Faculty for the University of Sheffield, and the Foundry Courtyard Student Accommodation Complex in Glasgow. Our longstanding expertise enables us to provide The University of Manchester, its staff and students with an iconic campus, in addition to delivering multiple benefits to local communities including job generation and apprenticeship opportunities.”

The MECD will house the university’s engineering school and provide innovative teaching spaces and research institutes such as the Dalton Nuclear Institute. The development should also provide Manchester city centre with redevelopment opportunities with parts of the estate in the north of campus being freed up.

Diana Hampson, director of Estates at The University of Manchester, said: “The Manchester Engineering Campus Development will be a world-leading centre for learning and research. This development is central to the University’s ten-year Campus Masterplan which is creating an exceptional environment for our exceptional people. We are providing state-of-the-art facilities that will rival those of our international competitors and help attract world-class academic talent to the institution.”

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