Contractor appointed for National Brownfield Institute

The University of Wolverhampton has appointed a main build contractor for the ‘shovel ready’ National Brownfield Institute (NBI) at its £120m Springfield Campus.

ISG has been awarded the contract to build the NBI, with work starting later this month.

The £17.5m research centre, designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, received planning approval in December 2020.

The scheme has benefited from £14.9m of funding from the Government’s Get Building Fund for the West Midlands.

City of Wolverhampton Council worked with the Black Country LEP and West Midlands Combined Authority to secure the funding. A request for the remainder of the funding required forms part of the city’s bid to the Government’s Towns Fund.

Professor Geoff Layer, vice-chancellor at the university, said: “We’re delighted to announce the appointment of ISG as contractor for the NBI meaning that we are a step closer to delivering the project and adding to the portfolio of construction and built environment expertise that now resides at the Springfield Campus.

“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.”

Cllr Stephen Simkins, City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “We have seen the university’s Springfield Campus blossom into the reality of a European-leading built environment education campus and we are delighted to have got to the point of delivering the National Brownfield Institute so quickly after securing vital funding.

“It 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.

“It is yet another sign of the confidence being shown in Wolverhampton as a place to invest, as our regeneration plans change our city and help it recover and relight from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, providing new skills and jobs opportunities for people in the city.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, added: “This Institute will help the West Midlands become a global leader in the clean-up and regeneration of derelict sites.
“That’s important for several reasons not least because every brownfield site we develop saves a greenfield one. But it will also drive next generation thinking and the development of new techniques for transforming brownfield land into vibrant new communities offering affordable and energy efficient homes for local people and modern commercial premises for growing businesses.

“The Institute will also equip our residents with the modern construction skills they will need to work on these brownfield projects, helping to get people into high-skilled, well-paid, work as we look to bounce back from the economic impact of the pandemic.”

The 12-acre Springfield Campus is already home to the Thomas Telford University Technical College, Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills and the recently opened £45m School of Architecture and Built Environment.