An Update on our New Belfast Campus

Creating a new vision for learning in the heart of Belfast.

   15 June 2020

We are incredibly proud that despite the current pandemic, work has continued on the building of our new Belfast campus.

In the early days of lockdown, swift and decisive actions were taken to manage the risks of COVID-19 and measures were put in place by the contractor, Somague Sacyr, in line with government guidance. While these measures did see a significant reduction in the number of workers on the site, progress continued to be made on site and in areas such as design and procurement.

Over the Easter break, Somague Sacyr went that extra mile and erected a major marquee to accommodate bigger canteen facilities, allowing more workers to socially distance and so facilitate the return of more workers to the site. More details on this can be found here. In addition, a new one-way traffic system was implemented as well as a significant increase in cleaning staff across the site.

At this point, work quickly recommenced on the roofing, mechanical and electrical installations, glazing, plaster boarding and computer flooring. While still not at full capacity, Somague had more than doubled its workforce by now and we were delighted to see work on our mixed-use development on Frederick Street completed and handed over by the carpark contractor.

Continuing into May and June, construction was completed on the highest point of the build and, internally, all of the staircases were completed, and lifts installed. Glazing along the front of York Street was also installed and much scaffolding removed. While the construction element of the Greater Belfast Development project continued, so too did progress on the transformation project workstreams. These workstreams cover areas such as digitisation, staff and student experience and timetabling.

This week on the development, the removal of scaffolding from the “lantern” revealed the full impact of this landmark element of the new campus. This makes apparent not only its architectural connection to our current Belfast campus and its striking glass lantern structure but also, when viewed beside the artist’s impression, is evidence of how far the build has progressed.

As a University, we are fully committed to delivering the project during this difficult time and it is thanks to the hard work of colleagues across the university that we have got to this stage. As always, the health, safety and welfare of the Contractor’s personnel and those of the entire GBD wider team remains our top priority.

We will continue to bring you updates on the progress of the build and preparations for our move but in the meantime, check out this fly-through video of the development and for more information on our plans, visit the GBD website.