The architects behind a new building to house the University of Salford’s solar-powered Robotic Innovation Centre say the work will kickstart regeneration of the Frederick Road area.
Construction on the new £65m building, which will be partly powered by renewable energy from 154 solar panels, is scheduled to start in early 2021, although a completion date is yet to be confirmed.
The project is part of the £2.5bn 20-year Crescent Masterplan, which aims to improve social and economic prosperity for the whole of the Salford area.
Tony Skipper, who is the masterplanner and director of 5plus Architects behind the design of the building, said the project will mark a change for the better in the area’s fortunes.
“It will be one of the first projects to be delivered by the University within Salford City’s new Innovation District, conceived under the Salford Crescent and University Masterplan and as such the project represents a new chapter in the regeneration of the wider area.”
A spokesperson for the University of Salford said the robotics centre will see the university work with business to develop use of robotics in industry.
“The centre will serve as a hub for the University of Salford’s robotics and automaton specialists who are looking to work with SMEs around the country to provide solution development, design, testing and validation of digital innovation.
“The aim of the centre is to work with companies who are looking to develop and trial intelligent automaton and robotic solutions for Industry 4.0.
“We will share our learnings of working with industry with students as we incorporate this into their programmes through case studies.”
Morgan Sindall Construction will be responsible for construction, part of a regeneration scheme being delivered by the University, Salford City Council and their development partner, The English Cities Fund.
Shaun Jones, Manchester area manager for Morgan Sindall Construction said: “Throughout the build programme, we plan to work closely with students, residents and community group to ensure our growing presence on campus has benefits for the whole of Salford.”
We are pleased to announce that Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure (@morgansindallci) will be building @SalfordUni's new North of England Robotics Innovation Centre! Read more: https://t.co/Cmx2YbP7NJ pic.twitter.com/k9VF8l6i0q
— Salford Alumni (@SalfordAlumni) October 15, 2020
The building will be four storeys tall and comprise 15,550 square metres.
As well as the robotics centre, the building will also be home to the Built Environment, Civil Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Networking, Human and Natural Science and The Morson Maker Space.
Director of Engineering at the University of Salford Georgina Harris stated: “We are really excited about our new North of England Robotics Innovation Centre and the opportunity to work with Morgan Sindall Construction on its development.”
She went on to add: “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 Construction will be working with us to help us realise our ambitions in research, supporting our local businesses and providing opportunities for our students.”