University opts for Willmott Dixon through Scape framework

Willmott Dixon has been awarded the £8 million contract to build a major extension to The University of Manchester’s Schuster Building. It is the company’s first project with the University as well as the University’s first project procured through Scape Group’s National Major Works framework.

The works form part of the university’s £1 billion campus masterplan, which will create a world-class campus for staff, students and visitors by 2022.

Willmott Dixon has a strong track-record of working with universities, using its knowledge of live-environment working to minimise disruption. Projects include creating a ‘living-green wall’ for Teesside University, building and extending Birmingham City University’s Curzon building, plus Bournemouth University’s new flagship ‘Fusion’ building and Leicester University’s Centre for Medicine, the UK’s largest non-residential Passivhaus facility.

The Schuster Building on Brunswick Street is home to the School of Physics and Astronomy and the new annexe on the eastern side of the building will enable the department to cater for the growing interest in physics and other STEM subjects following a significant increase in applications in recent years.

Willmott Dixon is working with Manchester based architects Hawkins Brown on the four-storey extension, which will deliver 2,500 sq m of accommodation on unoccupied land at the corner of Upper Brook Street and Brunswick Street, and will be connected to the Schuster Building with a metal bridge.

Anthony Dillon, managing director at Willmott Dixon in Manchester said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded this project with The University of Manchester. Being based in the city ourselves, it is a fantastic opportunity to use our skills to help the university expand its already exceptional educational facilities.”

Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive said, “Manchester University’s ambitious growth plans are a fantastic symbol of what is being achieved in the Northern Powerhouse and by the higher education sector, despite the many external pressures. UK Universities are crucial to the growth of our city regions and the UK economy, and Manchester’s international success demonstrates what can be achieved through public sector investment in skills, facilities and cutting edge research.

“By choosing the Scape framework the University will also ensure high levels of local spend and support local jobs, maximising the benefits for the local economy. The extension will be a fantastic edition to the University, and to its wider masterplan to create a world class campus.’