Building work on Salford University’s new £55 million Adelphi Arts Centre has helped boost the local economy with more than 90 per cent of orders over £100,000 being awarded to north west construction firms.
The 15,000 square metres building, which was handed over by Salford-based contractors BAM, has eight storeys and houses courses in art, design, fashion, photography, music, performance and dance – as well as the new architecture programme.
During construction, 19 orders of more than £100,000 were placed within the north, with nine of these being in or around Manchester.
Only eight orders of £100,000 were from outside the north of England, and all but one were within the UK.
Four of the six million pound plus contracts went to firms in Stockport and Manchester, with a fifth from a Leeds-based supplier.
Smaller companies also emerged as winners, with three quarters of the contracts valued between £50,000 and £100,000 going to local companies, as did two thirds of orders valued at over £10,000 and under £50,000.
Tony Grindrod, construction director for BAM Construction said: “Building this very demanding and complex building required a lot of expertise and experience. It’s often the case that the more specialist a scheme is, the further afield you have to go for your suppliers and materials.
“But we have been able to source a vast amount of the services within the North West and North East of England, competitively. That says a lot about the strength of what is sometimes called the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.
“What it also shows is how effective construction projects are at creating local economic benefits. There is no better way to regenerate an area than to build there, because so many of the knock-on benefits are felt by the small businesses who service the work we do.
“Manchester alone provided our tarmac works, wall mirrors, timber flooring, floor finishes, scaffolding, steelwork, drainage, security, sheet piling, excavation, and mechanical and electrical to name just some.
“We estimate around 70 per cent of people who worked on the scheme live within the north west including 24 per cent from Salford and central Manchester.”
More than 1,000 tonnes of structural steel and 5,500 square metres of reinforced concrete were used. It contains a café, a bar, a rooftop terrace and wildlife attracting green roof. Its distinctive large walkway, cutting through the centre of the building, will lead visitors into the heart of the University’s Peel Park campus.
Grindrod added: “This building has involved some real challenges with the amount of structural steelwork required and the huge number of specialist facilities to fit inside, but the team has pulled together to deliver an impressive facility while still making time to benefit students and local people with a huge amount of learning and employment opportunities.”