Construction gets underway on new apprenticeships and digital skills hub in Spring 2020
I’m pleased we are now in a position to press ahead with the construction of Catalyst. This landmark development will empower the Staffordshire University community to address regional skills shortages and meet the challenges of the 21st century head on.
Professor Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Staffordshire University has appointed VINCI Construction UK as the main contractor for its £40m Catalyst building – a flagship regional hub for apprenticeships and digital skills.
Located in the heart of the UK at Staffordshire University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus, Catalyst will act as both a physical and virtual hub, connecting employers, students and apprentices from across the Midlands and beyond.
The project team consists of Mace as project and cost managers, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios as lead designer and architect, Max Fordham as mechanical and electrical engineers, and Momentum as structural and civil engineers. VINCI will commence construction works on the site of Staffordshire University’s recently demolished Brindley building in spring 2020.
Professor Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Staffordshire University, said: “We are delighted to announce VINCI Construction UK as the contractor for this exciting project. We look forward to working with VINCI and our other development partners to bring Catalyst to life, offering a state-of-the-art hub that will serve our communities and help us to realise our Connected University vision.
“Catalyst will enable Staffordshire University to bring thousands of apprentices to the region, increasing economic prosperity and supporting business growth. This cutting-edge facility will also provide people with the opportunity to study flexible degrees, helping us to enhance learning and deliver a first-class student experience.”
Due to open in September 2021, Catalyst features a striking yet functional design. Supported by an angular brick frame, the flexible, open-plan space comprises a glass frontage at ground level and a distinctive design on the upper storeys. The apprenticeships and digital skills hub will feature a new library, social learning spaces and a restaurant and café.
VINCI prides itself on its collaborative approach and commitment to social value and sustainability. The contractor boasts an impressive portfolio, with projects ranging from state-of-the-art concert halls and theatres to the restoration of historic buildings.
Michael Roadnight, Regional Director at VINCI Construction UK Ltd, said “We're delighted to be appointed on the Catalyst building project, which will provide a fantastic facility for employers and apprentices from the Midlands and beyond. VINCI is looking forward to working with Staffordshire University and its team on this exciting flagship project.”
Construction of Staffordshire University’s Catalyst building was halted temporarily last year following the discovery of a protected species of bat in the former Brindley building. Demolition works were able to take place last month after ecologists confirmed the bats had safely vacated the premises.
Professor Jones added: “I’m pleased we are now in a position to press ahead with the construction of Catalyst. This landmark development will empower the Staffordshire University community to address regional skills shortages and meet the challenges of the 21st century head on.”