The University of Salford has appointed Morgan Sindall as the preferred bidder to build the North of England Robotics Innovation Centre
The Robotics Innovation Centre will enable the university’s robotics and automation specialists to expand their work with SMEs around the country to provide solution development, design, testing and validation of digital innovation.
The new centre is part of the £2.5bn Crescent masterplan, a 240-acre major regeneration scheme being delivered by the University, Salford City Council and development partner, The English Cities Fund – a strategic joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England.
It was announced earlier this year that the £13m North of England Robotics Innovation Centre will be part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The project will deliver a new gateway building to the Innovation District and provides the University with a new and significant presence facing on to Frederick Road. The building is articulated with a z-shaped plan expressing a series of stacked laboratories in turn linked by a central feature stair representing the heart of the building.
Externally a simple palette of materials is utilised ranging from precast concrete at lower levels to light perforated metal panels above.
The close working relationship between the University and Morgan Sindall has existed for a number of years.
New technologies in the industry
Shaun Jones, area director for Morgan Sindall in Manchester, said: “The University of Salford’s masterplan reflects a bold vision both in terms of developing a transformational future for the city and by supporting the sectors that will drive the wider country forward.
“Throughout the build programme, we plan to work closely with students, residents and community groups to ensure our growing presence on campus has benefits for the whole of Salford.”
Georgina Harris, director of engineering at the University of Salford, added: “We are really excited about our new North of England Robotics Innovation Centre and the opportunity to work with Morgan Sindall on its development.
“This new centre is to be the focus of our activities supporting local small to medium-sized enterprises in the development of their robotics and automation capabilities.
“This facility could not be more timely as companies look to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on their industries by making use of new technologies.
“We are delighted that Morgan Sindall will be working with us to help us realise our ambitions in research, supporting our local businesses and providing opportunities for our students.”
Construction work on the 22,580 square foot building is set to begin in early 2021.