Willmott Dixon secures fourth scheme at University of Warwick

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Warwick Arts Centre,

Willmott Dixon has been appointed to provide a fourth scheme at the University of Warwick, the new £33m Warwick Arts Centre

The Warwick Arts Centre will create a cultural hub for the region when complete in early 2021.

The construction contract award follows the Willmott Dixon’s selection in September to build the £54.3m Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB).

Designed by Bond Bryan and project managed by Turner & Townsend, the Warwick Arts Centre comprises a complete upgrade to the original building as well as adding a new-build that houses three HD digital auditoria, a large ground floor gallery to exhibit contemporary art, sculpture and photography, plus a spacious new-look foyer.

What will construction of the Warwick Arts Centre include?

One of the most difficult elements of the arts centre involves the erection of its steel frame, which will see 2,700 pieces of frame put in place over a 12-14 week period to form the gallery and three cinemas.

When finished, the Warwick Arts Centre will sustain over 30 full-time and potentially 20 part-time jobs, while also offering five apprenticeship roles. It will also help up to 35 small businesses through engagement and commercial relationships with the centre.

Midlands managing director at Willmott Dixon, Peter Owen, said: “By creating large and more modern space for the university to continue its creative, artistic and cultural programmes, this investment will also ensure the University of Warwick is home to the region’s leading cultural centre, something that is very important for Coventry as well as the university.

“One of the biggest challenges we will face is that the centre will remain open throughout the duration of the build, continuing to provide audiences with a full programme of events with shows taking place both inside the venue and in an onsite temporary theatre.”

The Warwick Arts Centre scheme has been awarded £4.2m in National Lottery funding from Arts Council England and was procured by Willmott Dixon through Procurement Hub.

Director of estates at the University of Warwick, James Breckon, added: “We are very pleased that Arts Council England has shown its commitment to this venture and our ongoing partnership.

“Tens of thousands of people from across Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond value Warwick Arts Centre as a key part of their cultural and social life – we expect to see this increase dramatically during Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture in 2021.”

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