Minister cuts turf on £15m student ‘learning space’

Published: 26 March 2007 at 16:23

A brand new £15m Faculty Building for Anglia Ruskin University - now ranked the 13th largest university in the country with its 28,000 students and over 1,000 academic staff - is set to take shape as part of the second wave of development on Rivermead campus, Chelmsford.

Higher Education Minister and Harlow MP, Bill Rammell joined Anglia Ruskin University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne to herald the start of building when he cut the first turf at the site next to the new Tindal Building (Monday 26 March).

With the move from Central campus now almost complete, the new building is needed to provide accommodation for the various departments moving from the former campus to the new Rivermead area. These departments fall within the University’s Faculty of Science and Technology and the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences.

It will provide classrooms, specialist teaching spaces, a 150 seat lecture theatre and administrative areas for the Department of Built Environment, the Department of Design and Technology, the Department of Computing, the School of Law.  The building will also be a home for Registry, the Office of Student Affairs and Communications and IT Services.

Bill Rammell said:

“I would like to congratulate Anglia Ruskin University on their new Faculty Building plans. I have no doubt that the facilities will be truly world-class and make an incredible difference to students.”

“Employers are already falling over themselves to recruit people like those graduating every year from Anglia Ruskin University, but unless we can ensure that even more people acquire skills through Higher Education, our economic prospects are bleak. There are equally powerful arguments in favour of achieving greater social justice through increased participation in Higher Education.”

"Anglia Ruskin University is already achieving great things through outreach programmes, increasing flexibility, and partnership with Further Education providers which clearly demonstrate that they can deliver outstanding quality provision to an incredibly diverse student body.”

Commenting on the progress being made at Rivermead campus,  Professor Thorne said:

“This is another significant day for Rivermead campus.  Everyone has worked incredibly hard to effect the transition of the former Central campus to Rivermead and the end of the process is now in sight.”

“What we will have is another magnificent facility to add to the burgeoning campus that everyone now knows as Rivermead. As we are currently the largest provider of face-to-face part time training in the country we need the additional space that this out of town site affords us.”

At 90 metres long and 15 metres wide, the new four storey curved learning space will continue the sweep started by the Tindal Building and established by the masterplan for the site.  Also part of the same phase is the new Sports, Building the Tindal Building and the new School of Health which is under construction and due for completion in June 2007. 

Anglia Ruskin University Chairman, Colin Day said:

“This is another hugely exciting project for us.”

“We are pushing on with this latest phase of the construction to bring together all the remaining departments from the former Central campus into the almost complete Rivermead area.”

“Once complete, Anglia Ruskin University will have one of the most striking and dynamic campus infrastructures in the whole of the UK – here on the riverside in Essex.”

The contract to construct the new Faculty Building was won by Kier Eastern; and the design and build process is being managed on behalf of Anglia Ruskin University by Lend Lease Projects.

Work on the 60 week construction phase of the project will start on site on 26 March and be completed by May 2008.