Wolverhampton City Council has appointed McLaughlin & Harvey as its preferred construction partner for a new 10,000-square metre educational hub in the city centre.
Wolverhampton’s City Learning Quarter project, which the council has developed with City of Wolverhampton College, will create a purpose-built learning facility for young people and adults.
It will include the current central campus of the college as well as the council’s Adult Education Service and Grade II*-listed Central Library, creating “an enhanced learning environment for everyone”.
McLaughlin & Harvey was awarded a pre-construction contract for the scheme. The firm will now develop detailed designs and carry out minor preparatory works ahead of construction starting in spring.
The project is also intended to pave the way for City of Wolverhampton College to move from its current main site, which has been identified as a site for housing.
The plans received £6.2m from the council and the Black Country LEP, which was used to fund design, site surveys and other initial work.
In addition, the council secured £5m from the government’s Towns Fund, £20m from its Levelling Up Fund and £20m from the Department for Education for the scheme.
McLaughlin & Harvey has previously worked on other high-profile educational projects, such as Coventry University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Oxford Brookes University’s Clerici Building.
The firm’s construction director, Michael Kieran, said it was “delighted” to have been appointed, adding: “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the council on the design and preparatory works.”
The council’s leader, Ian Brookfield, said: “The appointment of our preferred construction partner now brings us within touching distance of being able to start works on this game-changing scheme – 2023 is going to be a huge year for the City Learning Quarter.”
Brookfield added: “The City Learning Quarter will have a visible and tangible impact on the City of Wolverhampton and its residents, making a massive difference to everyday life through direct investment in skills and education.
“The new facilities will provide a vital facelift as we reimagine our city centre, which is benefiting from £1bn of investment overall.”