More than 1,400 students a year are expected to attend courses at the future Barrow Island campus building, a large part of Barrow’s successful £25m Town Deal bid.
Main contractor Caddick Construction began work building the 104,400 sq ft educational facility last week. Construction of the DAY Architectural-designed building is estimated to take the remainder of the year.
Upon completion, University of Cumbria’s Barrow Island campus will offer degrees in advanced manufacturing, business management, and computer science. Future students can expect to find labs, workspaces, and catering facilities, in addition to teaching spaces in the new building. For the staff, there will be offices.
The project also includes car parking and cycle storage.
Regarding landing the university campus contract, Caddick Construction managing director Paul Dodsworth said:
“Over the years we have delivered a number of specialist education facilities and we’re pleased to be applying our expertise to the University of Cumbria’s new Barrow-in-Furness campus, while also extending our portfolio of work within the region.”
Dodsworth continued: “Forming part of our team’s preparations to start work on-site, we have been engaging with our local supply chain partners who will support our delivery of work in the coming weeks.”
University of Cumbria’s chief operating officer, Mark Swindlehurst, described the appointment of Caddick and the start on site as a “milestone” for the project, which will be the first university campus in Barrow-in-Furness.
“Offering innovative, inclusive facilities and provision, this campus will help transform lives and communities for generations to come,” Swindlehurst said.
“The increased reach and accessibility of higher education in, for and from Barrow means that this campus will have a long-lasting impact, offering new opportunities and inspiration to so many who choose to live, visit, work and study in the area and beyond.”
BAE provided the university the six acres required for the campus building. The plot sits next to the defence contractor’s Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge. Both educational facilities are within the future Barrow Learning Quarter. Completing the quarter’s knowledge trio is a skills hub for Furness College.
The delivery of the Barrow Learning Quarter was a prime part of the area’s Town Deal award from government, with £13.4m committed to the project. Westmorland and Furness Council will deliver an additional £11m in grant funding for the University of Cumbria campus specifically.