Construction of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) has now completed.
Timelapse footage filmed since the first phase of works started has captured the construction of the £35 million-plus state-of-the art facility, part of the University’s £200 million Masterplan.
Designed by internationally renowned architects SimpsonHaugh and built by main contractor BAM Construction, the building has 652 panes of specially design glass each weighing 250kg and measuring four square metres, meaning the EIC will hold well over an acre of external glazing. It was also constructed using 630 tonnes of steel which hold 150 pre-cast concrete floor planks, the largest of which weighs 11 tonnes.
The EIC will enable Lancashire to take centre stage in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, mirroring its importance as the beating heart of the original Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries.
It will play its part in producing an increase of hundreds of locally trained graduates per year in areas including aerospace, mechanical and energy technologies and engineering.
Crucially the facility will also become a regional hotbed for promoting collaboration and knowledge transfer between University researchers, industry experts, businesses and students. While enhancing Lancashire’s position as one of the most renowned engineering and manufacturing regions in the UK, the EIC will also establish the University as one of the UK’s leading universities for engineering innovation by driving new discoveries and developments in emerging fields such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, drone technology and The Internet of Things.
Work at the EIC will lead to new methods, ideas and technological breakthroughs that have the potential to transform lives and drive the future prosperity of Lancashire.
Integrated teaching and research spaces will deliver a range of key objectives, ensuring that local skills reflect social and economic needs and increasing the number of women in engineering careers.
Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer at UCLan, said: “The EIC is set to be a real asset to the University and the region, bringing enormous educational and economic benefits now and for generations to come. It really is an impressive building that forms a cornerstone of our masterplan development, providing our region with access to top of the range facilities, research expertise and student talent.
“We are now at the stage of incorporating all our IT infrastructure and moving into place a huge range of engineering-related kit including flight simulators, manufacturing hardware and software and motorsports equipment. Everything will be in place and ready for when our student return for the new academic year in September.”
Identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan, the EIC has secured £10.5 million via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnerships’ Growth Deal with the Government. The new facility has also received £5.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £5 million from HEFCE’s STEM Capital Fund.
The timelapse footage can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz0QcVct7Eg