Conlon Construction start work on £8.15m social spaces project at Lancashire university

Conlon Construction has started work on a £8.15 million social spaces project at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

The scheme, which is one of the first projects expected to be completed within the university’s £200million Masterplan, will see the Preston-based contractor construct a single storey ground floor extension to the existing Foster Building. It will include areas for break out activities and informal spaces for social learning.

A similar facility will also be created linking together Harrington and Greenbank buildings and both are being developed with the Students’ Union and as a direct result of student feedback.

Designed by architecture practice AHR, it is hoped the new social spaces, due for completion in the autumn, will further improve the UCLan experience, encourage people to remain on campus for longer, and see staff and students mixing in a relaxed environment.

Michael Conlon, chairman at Conlon Construction, added: “We are honoured to have been appointed to this project which will kick-start UCLan’s multi-million programme of works.

“As a contractor local to the scheme, we have undertaken a number of projects on campus over the years, including refurbishment of the Foster Building which this development will adjoin, so our familiarity with the university’s built environment, along with our extensive education experience, will ensure we can deliver a quality project on time and within budget.”

Michael Ahern, chief operating officer for UCLan, said: “Increasingly, students expect 24-7 access to flexible, multi-purpose facilities. The new social spaces will accommodate, energise and inspire students and staff in a vibrant and engaging environment – one that people want to be part of.

“The best learning and research outcomes are achieved when a diverse range of environments are available and this will be a quality space which will blur the traditional boundaries between places to work and socialise.

“We’re pleased to be working with a local firm on this project, supporting jobs and the local economy, which is a key driver of the overall Masterplan.”

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