National Brownfield Institute planning application submitted

The building of a new £17.5m National Brownfield Institute (NBI) in Wolverhampton has moved a step closer after a planning application was submitted for it on the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus.

City of Wolverhampton Council has supported the university with its plans and final evaluations and, subject to planning approval being granted, it is hoped work will start on site later this year.

It comes just two months after the announcement the scheme is to receive £14.9m of funding from the Government’s Get Building Fund for the West Midlands.

The city council worked with the Black Country LEP and West Midlands Combined Authority to secure the funding for what will be the flagship of the University of Wolverhampton’s ongoing £120m Springfield Campus development.

The NBI, designed by Associated Architects, will research and develop new construction methods and ways of regenerating contaminated land.

A request for the remainder of the funding required forms part of the city’s bid to the Government’s Towns Fund.

The 12-acre Springfield Campus is already home to the Thomas Telford University Technical College, Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills and the School of Architecture and Built Environment.

Cllr Stephen Simkins, City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “It is great to see things moving at pace to bring forward this game-changing scheme for the City of Wolverhampton.

“We have seen the University’s Springfield Campus blossom into the reality of a European-leading Built Environment education campus.

“The addition of the National Brownfield Institute will make Wolverhampton a world leader in construction, regeneration and built environment, offering teaching and skills development, cutting edge research and innovation, and enterprise and business engagement through multi-sector partnerships.

“Most importantly it will deliver new skills, jobs and opportunities for local people in the city.

“It is all part of the multi-billion-pound investment on site or planned in our city – a city of opportunity – as we look to bounce back from the impact of Covid-19.”

University of Wolverhampton vice-chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, added: “It’s wonderful to see the planning application for the new National Brownfield Institute being submitted so quickly.  As one of the shovel-ready projects announced in the recent Government’s Get Building Fund, we are keen to get the project off the ground.

“The NBI will be integral to the way we look at land remediation and regeneration across the Black Country and the UK and will play a pivotal part in unlocking industrial land to help tackle the housing shortage in our towns and cities.”