Northern Ireland news

Global supply chain issues blamed for latest delay in Ulster University Belfast campus opening

Ulster University's new Belfast campus is to miss the planned January opening date for the majority of staff and students set to relocate to the £363.9m facility.
Staff Reporter

PLANS to welcome 15,000 students and staff at Ulster University's new Belfast city centre campus in January are set to be delayed as a result of supply chain issues, it has been claimed.

The new £363.9 million campus - the largest project of its kind in the north - was due to open in three months after several delays and rising cost concerns.

But, the university's pro-vice chancellor Professor Alastair Adair has advised staff and students that the January opening date is likely to be missed.

In an email, he blamed ongoing global supply chain problems for the delay.

"Whilst we share the disappointment of staff and students at this extended timeframe for onboarding, we must also acknowledge the real issues that are affecting supply chains around the world," he wrote.

The initial opening date for the new campus was 2018, while the current total cost of the project is 43 per cent in excess of its original budget. The university has described the new facility as set to provide a "progressive student experience in a state-of-the art city centre campus".

It is being built at the York Street location of the university's old art college campus. As a result of the latest delay, students have been advised that the "vast majority" of teaching due to be carried out in Belfast in the second semester of the academic year will occur in the Jordanstown campus.

"This phased process of completion, handover and onboarding, will now continue in controlled phases?throughout the current academic year," Prof Adair said.

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