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£100 million university work starts as bulldozers move onto Springfield Brewery site

By Annabal Bagdi | Wolverhampton | Education | Published:

Bulldozers have finally moved in on Wolverhampton's derelict Springfield Brewery site to pave the way for a multi-million pound university super-campus.

Jackie Dunne and Andy Crawford with guests

Demolition work has now started at the former Springfield Brewery as the University of Wolverhampton prepares to bring its vision to life.

Contractors are in the midst of preparing the site as part of the £100 million Springfield Campus project, which will see the Grade II listed brewery transformed into a new School of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Jackie Dunne, who is the university’s project lead for Springfield, said: “It is great to be on site and seeing the project moving forward.

"With the preparatory works under way we can start looking towards the main build getting under way in the autumn."

A team from Great Barr-based The Coleman Group has taken to the site after being appointed to carry out demolition and remediation work.

It comes after planning chiefs gave proposals the go-ahead in April after initial plans were scrapped when structural problems came to light.

The new design, crafted by Associated Architects, will see the iconic clock tower building restored and a new building wrapped around it.

Jackie Dunne and Andy Crawford

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A naturally lit open atrium spanning three floors and covered by a glass roof lantern will be at the heart of the building.

Ms Dunne added: "Once complete it will be a fantastic addition to the city. Springfield is a key strategic project for the university and we are committed to realising the vision of the site and the part this will play in regenerating Wolverhampton.

“This is the biggest and final part of the first phase of Springfield’s redevelopment and one of the biggest capital projects we have ever undertaken.

"Once complete it will offer an unrivalled built environment hub and centre of excellence which will be among the biggest and best in Europe.”

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The 7,900 square metre building will use a mix of pre-cast white concrete, bronze metal cladding and glazing, while the historic outer brick façade will be retained.

Specialist teaching and social learning spaces will be housed in the building, along with design studios, specialist labs and multi-disciplinary workshops.

There will also be a lecture theatre, café, offices, meeting rooms, ICT rooms and a top floor super studio with double height ceilings.

Students are expected to pour into the landscaped piazza and courtyard, which will link the new school with the rest of the site.

Plans for the school are part of the first phase of the redevelopment project, which is expected to be completed in two years.

It will provide space for almost 1,100 students and 65 staff, with the number of students expected to rise to more than 1,500.

The tender has also gone out to market for a construction partner to be the main build contractor for the site, with hopes of work starting in early autumn.

Annabal Bagdi

By Annabal Bagdi
@AnnabalB_Star

Senior reporter based at head office in Wolverhampton.

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