Willmott Dixon has strengthened its presence in the higher education sector by being awarded a £19 million design and build contract to construct the University of Bedfordshire’s new library in Luton.
Spread over seven floors, the iconic building will become a landmark in the town centre incorporating 7,400 sq meters of space that will connect to the rest of the University’s Luton campus via a bridge link.
“The appointment of Willmott Dixon to build our new library is great news,” said the University’s Vice Chancellor, Bill Rammell. “This move further underlines our ambitions for current and future generations of students at Bedfordshire. The fantastic new facility will further enhance the students’ learning experience, offering the latest digital learning technologies, an expanded space for print resources and flexible study space for individual and group study, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“This investment also underlines the University’s commitment to developing first-class teaching and learning facilities in Luton. Only last month we launched a new dedicated Art and Design building in Guildford Street. We also opened a CSI crime lab facility on Cumberland Street in the town, for forensic science students to gain valuable practical experience as part of their studies.”
Willmott Dixon is currently delivering nearly £200 million of projects to modernize, update and extend university accommodation, including the £46 million phase two of Birmingham City University’s master plan.
Chris Tredget, Managing Director at Willmott Dixon in the Northern Home Counties, added: “We are delighted to be involved and look forward to delivering this superb new library for the University of Bedfordshire. As a local company, with an office in nearby Hitchin, Herts, and staff living across Bedfordshire, we are naturally very proud to be responsible for an important addition to our community. We will also buy local construction materials whenever possible to support jobs and companies in the area.”
The latest development forms part of the University’s plans to invest some £90million at Luton campus over the next five years and follows new campus developments at Luton over recent years.
These include the new £34m Campus Centre, a £20m Postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development Centre and the Fitzroy Court Student Village, on Vicarage Street, next to the Luton campus.
Willmott Dixon’s Northern Homes Counties team will commence building works this month, with the library’s completion expected in summer 2015.