Usama turns theory into reality as part of University’s Masterplan project

Former University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student Usama Bandarkar longed to use the skills he was learning in quantity surveying to help influence the large-scale construction works he could see changing the face of the campus.

Now the graduate’s dream has become reality after he secured a job as a quantity surveyor working on the University’s £200 million Masterplan in Preston.

The current project will see the creation of a £60 million Student Centre and new Civic Square due for completion in early 2021.

Usama, 21, who is working for highways contractor Balfour Beatty, said: “I used to watch the work on the Masterplan when it started and thought wouldn’t it be great if I worked on it one day. Now I’ve got the job just down the road from where I studied.

“I’m really enjoying the job, I’m learning something new every day. I spend time in the office and I make a point of visiting site daily, I am part of the surveying team and shadow senior colleagues to constantly develop in my new career. I also take a photographic record of progress to make sure everything is following the plan and share it with the project team.”

Another learner on the project is 16 year-old Jack Clark, who started as an apprentice groundworker in September for sub-contractor Bethell Construction.

I’m earning while I’m learning and I get involved in all kinds of work including excavations, bricklaying and concreting. I attend college one day every week and after two years I’ll be a qualified groundworker.

Graeme Moffat, Balfour Beatty Operations Manager, said: “At Balfour Beatty, we are committed to supporting the local economy by employing local people with more than 92per cent of our University of Central Lancashire’s Masterplan workforce employed from within a 40-mile radius.

As members of The 5% Club, we believe it is critically important to provide young people looking for a career in construction with experience working on major developments to ensure they become equipped with the industry skills needed to excel in the future.

Work on UCLan’s Masterplan continues to progress, with improvements to the highways around the Adelphi Quarter being carried out by Balfour Beatty, while ground preparation for the Student Centre and Civic Square is taking place through contractor Bowmer + Kirkland.  The University’s Masterplan development has so far seen the completion of two new social space facilities at a cost of over £8 million, the £35 Million Engineering Innovation Centre as well as Oasis, the new multi-faith centre.

To keep informed of any travel updates and for more detail about current highways information and diversions, visit or follow @uclanmasterplan on Twitter.  Alternatively, you can email the Masterplan team at

Masterplan Highways – Keeping it local

  • 92 – percentage of the labour force on the highways project that come from within a 40-mile radius.
  • 27 – weeks of work experience provided
  • 600 – students worked with to learn about the project
  • 100 – the percentage of funding spent on local sub-contractors within 40 miles
  • 95 – percentage of spend with SMEs
  • 8 – new jobs created
  • 10 – number of person days spent in volunteering or charity work


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