Welsh Government Finance Minister Jane Hutt has today (Wednesday August 20) visited the site of Swansea University’s Bay Campus to top out the Engineering Central building.
The building will be part of the College of Engineering, and home to the Innovation Hub. It is being developed by the university’s framework contractor Leadbitter, which is part of Bouygues UK – one of the nation’s leading construction companies. Leadbitter also completed the recent refurbishment of the university’s Wallace Building and is delivering the new Data and Science building.
The Innovation Hub will provide world-class research facilities and enable the university to significantly increase its ability to access research council grants and other sources of funding such as Horizon 2020. It will also provide an ‘open innovation’ environment for industry to collaborate and engage with academic expertise to help develop manufacturing products and processes and introduce new ones, contributing to the economic regeneration of the region.
Left: Finance Minister Jane Hutt topping out the Innovation Hub.
The £450m Bay Campus development, which will welcome its first students on site in September 2015, has benefitted from £50m through the Welsh Government, including £35m from the European Regional Development Fund. This includes support for the Innovation Hub and for an Engineering Manufacturing Centre.
In addition, the Bay Campus is providing significant local employment opportunities. As of June 2014 almost 2665 people have worked at the site, with almost 75% of the workforce from Wales, 1242 training and apprenticeship weeks, and 83 Welsh companies winning contracts at the Bay Campus.
Jane Hutt, said: “The new Bay Campus is an excellent example of how EU funds are having an impact in Wales. Investing in key infrastructure projects such as this one is vital to the Welsh economy. This building will provide new opportunities for students and world-class research facilities. I am pleased to see how EU funds have helped establish a leading research and innovation facility to drive forward our knowledge economy whilst offering local employment and skills opportunities in the construction of the campus”.
Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University, said: “Our new Bay Campus has been recognised as one of Europe’s leading knowledge economy projects. We have been very successful in gaining funding from government and the European Investment Bank, as well as from industry.
Left: Finance Minister Jane Hutt with Professor Richard B. Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University.
“This partnership working means we are able to continue to grow and to meet the needs of industry in providing cutting edge world-class research, helping to create economic growth and boost regeneration. I’m delighted to welcome the Finance Minister here today to show her the enormous impact the Bay Campus is already having”.
Rob Bradley, Managing Director of Leadbitter and Bouygues UK’s Western team, said: “The University of Swansea has a longstanding tradition in research and was voted by students as the UK’s top university in 2014. Our work on facilities such as the Innovation Centre, the Wallace Building, the new Data Centre and ESRI building supports the university’s commitment to providing world-class resources for it students, faculty and for the industry; and supports the work of current and future engineers and scientists”.
- Wednesday 20 August 2014 16.03 BST
- Wednesday 20 August 2014 16.02 BST
- Catrin Newman, Tel: 01792 513454