University of Brighton vice-chancellor Professor Debra Humphris took to the controls of an excavator when she visited the first stage of the £300m redevelopment of the Preston Barracks site in Moulsecoomb.
Professor Humphris drove the excavator and tipped rubble into a crusher. “The crew here are amazingly skilful and it is exciting to see work being carried out on the first phase of the fantastic redevelopment of the old Preston Barracks and our Moulsecoomb campus sites,” the vice-chancellor said.
Crews are preparing the Brighton and Hove City Council land on Lewes Road for the construction of a new Central Research Laboratory and an innovation and business start-up hub which will replace the old FIELD building. The site will also accommodate 500 additional student bedrooms in privately-managed buildings on the site.
University land on an adjoining site, together with a plot across the street, will see the development of new halls containing 800 student bedrooms, new Students’ Union facilities, new fitness facilities, a new academic building, new multi-storey car park and space for 1,000 cycles. The new 800-bed development forms the centrepiece of the wider transformation of the university’s single biggest campus.
The main construction works will run from this summer to the spring of 2020.
The development is being undertaken by the University in partnership with developers U+I and Brighton & Hove City Council and will create over 1,500 jobs and attract over £500 million into the city over the next ten years.