Boost for local business as Willmott Dixon secures phase two of Birmingham City University’s new campus

The next phase of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus is set to provide a £28 million boost to local business after Willmott Dixon was confirmed as contractor.

Willmott Dixon has a £46 million contract to build phase two of the University’s new campus in the city centre at Eastside, adjacent to Millennium Point in the heart of Birmingham. With construction starting in June, the company expects £28 million of the build cost to go on sub-contractor packages delivered by firms located within a 20-mile radius of the project.

Phase two is part of the University’s £180 million investment in its estate and will feature a student support hub as well as a new library, teaching and IT space, plus other student-facing support faculties.

The two-year project will also sustain 1,300 jobs and Willmott Dixon has committed to creating 46 new jobs for trainees, apprentices and people currently looking for employment.

The Coleshill-based contractor also built phase one of the University’s masterplan, which features an integrated creative and media hub supported with pioneering technology. This project alone saw over £25 million of contracts spent on companies within a 20-mile radius of the site.
The phase one development has been named The Parkside Building, as it overlooks the newly opened Eastside City Park fronting the University’s flagship city centre campus. The Parkside Building will be open to students from this September.

Willmott Dixon’s strategy that local business must benefit from a substantial amount of work on phase two follows its investment of £1 million in Perry Barr to create the 4Life Academy, which is capable of training 2,000 people a year in qualifications that include City & Guilds and NVQs.

The company has a strong base in the West Midlands, employing 1,000 people, including 22 apprentices, and is responsible for the repairs and maintenance of 60,000 properties for Birmingham City Council.

Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham City University, said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Willmott Dixon once again. Our partnership to create The Parkside Building was hugely successful. When this state-of-the-art facility opens in September it will further enhance our world-class provision at Eastside for generations of students to come.

“Many of the job-ready graduates from our new campus will go on to apply their skills with companies in the West Midlands. We therefore look forward to starting work on the next phase of our Eastside development – another significant investment which underlines the fact we are the ‘University for Birmingham and its region’.”

Peter Owen, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said: “As a local company we take seriously our responsibility to support growth and sustain jobs in Birmingham. Our recent investment in the 4Life Academy is an example of this commitment. Now we have been appointed for phase two of Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus and we’ll work with local companies to ensure they benefit from this huge investment.”