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Dr Heather Bacon OBE signing the steelwork (1)

UCLan and Morgan Sindall mark project milestone with steel signing at new Veterinary School

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The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), alongside Morgan Sindall Construction, has held a steel signing at the site of what will be its new School of Veterinary Medicine.

This event on its Preston Campus marks the commencement of the steel frame on the four-storey new build element which will provide almost 50,000 square feet of specialist teaching space.

The steel frame package is being delivered by Preston-based Leach Steelwork demonstrating Morgan Sindall’s commitment to utilising a local supply chain for the project. Other local contractors involved include Blackpool-based Ameon, who are responsible for delivering the mechanical and electrical (M&E) package.

As part of Morgan Sindall’s Intelligent Solutions approach, the innovative steel frame design incorporates the use of Peikko DELTABEAM ® and precast concrete floor slabs. DELTABEAM® is a slim floor solution which allows for large open teaching spaces within the building, whilst reducing volume of materials used. This has created a huge saving of 101 tonnes of embodied carbon when compared to use of a standard steel frame solution.

The scheme, secured via the NHS Shared Business Services Framework on behalf of UCLan, started in the spring of last year on the remodelling of the ground floor of the existing Greenbank Building. The enabling works on the new Vet School started in summer 2023.

The event included a tour of the site and a ceremonial signing of a steel beam by the university’s vet staff, some of the first students to undertake the five-year Veterinary Medicine & Surgery (BVMS) degree course, members of the Morgan Sindall team and a representative from Leach Steelwork.

Once complete, the new state-of-the-art building, which is targeting a BREEAM Excellent rating, will become the 11th Veterinary School in the country and will be home to undergraduate and postgraduate courses in areas such as veterinary medicine, bio-veterinary science and clinical animal behavioural studies.

UCLan group shot
University of Central Lancashire representatives on site during the steel signing

The new building will contain a mixture of high-specification anatomical skills laboratories, clinical facilities and simulated operating theatres and diagnostic suite, alongside a variety of office, storage and reception space.

Following its refurbishment, from April the ground floor of Greenbank Building will become home to a canine hydrotherapy treadmill, kennel facilities, simulated consultation areas, theatres, and teaching space. UCLan opened its doors to the first cohort of BVMS students in September 2023, with the Veterinary School new build set to complete in January 2025.

Other partners on the project include Turner & Townsend, Curtins, Fletcher Rae, Hoare Lea and Wilson Mason.

Simon Arnott, Managing Director for Morgan Sindall’s North business, said:

Steel signing events always bring with them an air of excitement as we begin to see the new building take shape. We’re very pleased to be working with the University to help provide a much-needed modern learning environment to a bustling campus, and we look forward to working closely together to complete this inspiring new facility for students and staff.”

Bob Turner, UCLan’s Project Manager for the School of Veterinary Medicine, commented:

After months of work to prepare the foundations of the building, it’s great to see the first steels being moved into place. This is the stage where a lot of people start to realise the scale of the project as they see the outline of the building starting to take shape.”


For more information, please contact Lewis Hinds at Influential, at [email protected]