Northern Ireland news

Ulster University Belfast campus work re-starts

UU's Chief Operating Officer Niamh Lamond and António Teixeira Operations Director, SACYR Somague UK

WORK has re-started at Ulster University's flagship Belfast campus after a four month pause - but it is not yet known when it will open.

The UU venture - the largest of its kind in the north - may not be ready until at least 2022.

Building work is continuing to transform the 'art college' campus on York Street, at the top of Royal Avenue in Belfast.

This will see most courses transfer from Jordanstown and student numbers in the city rise from 2,000 to 15,000.

Lagan Construction Group and Portuguese-based Somague were named joint-venture partners on the project, which was due to complete this year.

When Lagan got into difficulties in February, workers from all the firms involved, including subcontractors, downed tools.

Workers from the Portuguese firm returned home.

UU confirmed they had now returned, although the number of workers on the site appears to be significantly smaller than pre-February.

Asked what the new target opening date was, a UU spokeswoman said further detail would be made available soon.

"More than 15,000 students and staff will be based at the visionary new campus that will provide a progressive practice-based learning and teaching environment and deliver a world class learning facility in the heart of Belfast," she said.

"Somague is the contractor responsible for completion of this iconic building project. We continue to work in close partnership with Somague, and our various directly appointed consultants, to deliver our vision for this landmark campus in the city."

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