The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Construction starts at University of West of Scotland’s Ayr campus

University of the West of Scotland’s £70 million Ayr Campus is one step closer following an official turf cutting ceremony at the new campus site.

[Pictured left to right: Professor Seamus McDaid, Principal and Vice Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland (UWS); Provost Winifred Sloan of South Ayrshire Council; and Professor Bill McKelvey, Principal of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC). CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The ceremony officially marked the start of construction of the new 18,000m2 campus, which is being developed in partnership with the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC). The campus is being built on the Craigie Estate, next to the River Ayr. Construction partner, Bovis Lend Lease UK, has commenced on the initial enabling works phase of the development.

Planned and designed by leading Scottish-based architects RMJM, the development will see SAC joining UWS on the site. Shared facilities will include teaching and learning spaces, gym, refectory, library, music and drama studios and computing labs.

The new Campus is part of the University’s £250million development programme and replaces its existing campus on the edge of the estate. It will create an innovative learning environment for over 4000 students, including students from the nearby Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive.

The new campus, which has been developed in consultation with the Natural Garden Society, Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, will provide Ayrshire with one of the UK’s most modern, environmentally friendly and sustainable Higher Education learning environments.

The new building is designed to the highest environmental rating – BREEAM Excellent (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) – adopting sustainable strategies within the design and operation of the new building.

Professor Seamus McDaid, Principal and Vice Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland, said: “We are delighted that construction of our new Ayr campus is underway – this is a hugely exciting development not just for Ayrshire but the West of Scotland as a whole.

“This unique campus facility will enable us to expand our course provision and develop an international dimension to our operations in Ayr, with a campus that will attract students from across the globe.”

Professor Bill McKelvey, Principal of SAC, said: “We are delighted to be here to mark the start of this project. It has been planned for a number of years, and today we look forward to real progress. The investment represents a magnificent opportunity for the town of Ayr and for Higher Education in Scotland.”

University of the West of Scotland, Scotland’s biggest modern university, caters for almost 20,000 students and 2,000 staff with campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley. The University’s new campus is scheduled for opening in September 2011.

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