University celebrates handover of £64m city centre development

New Copperas Hill facilities

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has taken control of its landmark new development on Copperas Hill.

Contractor Morgan Sindall Construction has reached practical completion of the three-and-a-half-acre site in the heart of the city centre.

The £64.5m development has regenerated a key gateway site next to Liverpool Lime Street station, on the site of the city’s former Royal Mail sorting centre.

The completed Copperas Hill scheme incorporates The Student Life Building – a five-storey building housing a range of student-facing services, including advice and wellbeing, careers advice, international exchanges, an area for individual and group study, the Students’ Union (JMSU) and general teaching spaces – and The Sports Building – a two-storey building with outstanding facilities such as an eight-court sports hall, two multi-purpose halls and a state-of-the-art gym.

The development has also created attractive public open spaces, benefitting the local community as well as students and staff.

LJMU will bring the new facilities into use for the start of the 2021/22 academic year in September, subject to government guidance relating to COVID-19.

Prof Ian Campbell, vice-chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, said: “This major development is a key element of our estates masterplan through which we have invested in state-of-the-art new facilities and the refurbishment of existing buildings in our estate.

“Our priority is to provide our students with an outstanding experience during their time at LJMU and these new facilities will provide the perfect environment for study, research, sports and fitness and to access the wide range of support we offer. Copperas Hill will help to connect our City Campus and Mount Pleasant Campus and we are proud to be playing such a key role in regenerating this area of our city.”

Nearly half of Morgan Sindall Construction’s 1,398-strong project workforce was newly recruited from the local area, in addition to its staff already employed by the company based in Liverpool and the surrounding areas.

The established methodology Local Multiplier 3 (LM3), which calculates the economic impact made within the region a construction project is based, has revealed that, as a result of this commitment, a £108m return on investment was produced in terms of social value.

Richard Potts, Liverpool area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “It’s always a proud moment to hand over a project to a client, but especially so when your work has had a real impact on the community in which you work. The Sports Building and Student Life building will not only form a key component of the university’s exceptional student experience, but will also be two of the first sights of visitors from around the world as they arrive into our city from Lime Street Station.”

The pre-contract design team was led by Faithful+Gould following procurement though Pagabo’s Professional Services Framework. The university also utilised Pagabo’s Major Works Framework to appoint Morgan Sindall Construction to deliver the full build.