The University of Glasgow has chosen Multiplex to manage the first phase of its massive estates expansion plan, believed to be worth £700 million, which will see the redevelopment of the 14-acre former Western Infirmary site in two phases over the next decade, with the total expenditure for both phases expected to be approximately £1 billion.
The project will include clearing the hospital site, the refurbishment of five listed buildings, the development of a public square, new cycle and pedestrian routes and the construction of several new buildings. The University sees the development as key to attracting and retaining the best academics and students from across the globe to one of the world’s foremost places of learning. The new fully-accessible campus will enlarge teaching capacity, encouraging a creative environment with a spotlight on innovation. Student study space will be expanded, with a focus on technology-enabled teaching and the intention to streamline student services. In particular, the University hopes to expand its postgraduate provision. The major projects include a Learning and Teaching Hub, an Institute of Health and Wellbeing, a School of Engineering, a new base for the College of Arts, a Centre for Chronic Disease and a significant upgrade of the Chemistry Building.
The University foresees opportunities for local businesses and communities too – in fact, it sees the project as a major economic driver for both the city and Scotland as a whole. Commercial opportunities will include a hotel, bars, restaurants and cafes, retail space and residential blocks. An Innovation Quarter will also be formed, with the specific aim of improving engagement with local industry and promoting the creation of new companies. The new public square will link Byres Road with the West End’s cultural quarter by pedestrian access for the first time.
It is envisaged that 2500 jobs will be created during the construction phase alone. Bidding for opportunities throughout this landmark project will be fierce, with only the most competitive securing lucrative construction contracts.
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