Company a UK-leader for campus regeneration

Willmott Dixon’s track-record for transforming university campuses is being strengthened with a £20 million contract from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) procured via Scape Group’s National Major Works framework, superseded by Major Works England and Northern Ireland, part of the National Construction framework, to deliver a key part of its ambitious estate masterplan.

Willmott Dixon will transform the university’s Tithebarn Building – home to the School of Nursing and Allied Health (NAH) - and Avril Robarts Library on Tithebarn Street in the heart of the city centre.

The Tithebarn Building will be extended and refurbished, with Avril Robarts Library undergoing a complete refurbishment. This will provide specialist NAH training suites and refurbished teaching rooms, while Avril Robarts Library will benefit from new study and social spaces.

The main contract is scheduled to begin in May 2019, with the Tithebarn NAH project set for completion in March 2021.

However, the Tithebarn NAH’s new extension will be completed for the start of the new academic year in September 2020, while the Avril Robarts Library refurbishment will be carried out in three phases with completion in late 2020.

The contract follows similar campus regeneration work by Willmott Dixon at universities that include Birmingham, Swansea, Bournemouth, Kent, Teeside and Kingston.

Talking about this project’s importance to LJMU, Professor Raphaela Kane, Interim Executive Dean and Director of Nursing and Allied Health, said: “I’m delighted we are making real progress in delivering these fantastic new facilities for our students. This project will provide an outstanding, state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment, with professional-standard clinical practice suites to prepare our Nursing and Allied Health students for their future careers.”

Heather Thrift, Director of Library Services at LJMU, continued: “The major enhancements to Avril Robarts Library are part of our wider programme of improvements to our library service.

“The works will deliver a great environment for our extensive book stock and dedicated study spaces for groups and individuals. We will also have more visible spaces for key student support teams, including careers and student advice and wellbeing.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the north:

“This further builds on our recent track-record in the north that includes delivering the Schuster annex for University of Manchester. We have delivered over £100 million of work in Liverpool in recent years and our local team are really looking forward to working with LJMU to deliver this next phase of their exciting growth and, in the process, sustain regional companies and jobs with our ‘local pound’ commitment.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive commented: “Students want and need innovative studying facilities along with the very latest technology, and through using our framework LJMU are guaranteeing certainty that their projects are delivered with efficiency and real value embedded at the heart”.

The project is part of LJMU’s estates masterplan, which is also delivering a brand new Student Life Building and Sport Building on Copperas Hill, a brand new Pavilion at Aldham Robarts Library and a new School of Education building on Maryland Street.