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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Tom Pegden

Kier wins University of Derby business school contract

Construction giant Kier has won the contract to build the new University of Derby business school.

The new facility will go on land next to the university’s One Friar Gate Square building after Derby City Council approved the plans last summer. The 100,000 sq ft, business school will make up the first element of the university’s city masterplan, which it has drawn up to help connect its various sites.

It will feature innovative teaching and learning spaces, including a virtual reality suite, stock market trading room and creative labs as well as a 233-seat auditorium. An open design will provide air circulation and natural light.

It is hoped that by 2020 more than 6,000 students will be using the site every year, while two levels of the building will be open to the public, allowing students, academics, researchers and university staff to work alongside businesses based there as well as with the wider business community.

Andrew Bevan, the university’s interim director of estates, said: “The development of the business school is a catalyst for the regeneration of our city hub site.

“I’m delighted that we have entered into a contract with Kier to deliver this landmark building, which is part of the University’s broader vision to expand its reach and reputation across the UK and globally.”

Colina Wright, chief executive of the Union of Students at the university, said: “As a union, we are delighted to be involved in this project and are both passionate and committed to ensuring the student voice is reflected throughout.

“We have been impressed with discussions about student involvement and wider conversations about giving back to the community through employment and internship opportunities as well as considerations for sustainability and city regeneration. I am motivated by what this project can do for the city but more importantly for our students, during their time at Derby and beyond.

“I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the University and its partners as the project develops.”

Dan Doherty, regional director for Kier Construction North & Scotland, said: “The business school is a key strategic project in the University of Derby’s City Masterplan and it marks the first project we will deliver for the University.

“We have extensive experience in delivering first-class higher education buildings and have no doubt that this business school will hugely benefit students, staff and the local community.”

During the build Kier will work with the university, local businesses and supply chain partners to create new jobs and apprenticeships, 25 work experience placements and two graduate opportunities.

It has also committed to a minimum of 160 hours of charity and community volunteering and regular site tours for students, staff and the local community. It said 85 per cent of the project spend will be made within 40 miles of the development.

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