Education news

Art college campus re-build continues throughout lockdown

Manoeuvring panes of glass in position at the new Ulster University campus in Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

BUILDING work on a massive, multi-million pound university campus has been able to continue throughout the Covid-19 lockdown.

The project will transform the 'art college' of Ulster University (UU) on York Street in central Belfast.

The price tag is now estimated at £363.9 million, an audit report found, 43 per cent in excess of the original budget.

The largest venture of its kind in the north, it was due to be open already but may not be ready until at least 2022.

In February, an average of 600 workers were on the site daily.

There were concerns the coronavirus restrictions could cause further delays. However, the site has remained active.

"Work continues on our Belfast campus site with the health and safety of all those involved as our top priority," a UU spokeswoman said.

"Our contractor moved quickly to manage the risks of Covid-19 with measures put in place in line with all government guidance. New additional measures are also being investigated that will further increase the capacity for access for workers and materials on site.

"The university's dedicated programme team is working closely with an external professional consulting team, an experienced lead contractor and committed supply chain, to ensure the delivery of a world class university campus. The new campus will deliver a progressive student experience in a state-of-the art city centre campus, benefitting from innovative learning spaces at the forefront of higher education."

Most courses are transferring from Jordanstown and student numbers in the city will rise from 2,000 to 15,000.

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