A £3.7m contract to design and build a state-of-the-art Healthcare Innovation Centre at Staffordshire University’s Stafford Centre of Excellence for Healthcare Education has been awarded to Midlands building firm Pave Aways.
Work on the new facilities in Stafford, which is home to the University’s School of Health and Social Care and boasts a range of courses including nursing and midwifery, involves demolishing existing buildings and creating new teaching spaces focused around simulation-based education.
The Health Innovation Centre is part of £23.7 million investment made available under the Government’s Getting Building Fund to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP). The programme, which is one of 11 shovel ready projects in the region, has been awarded £2.89 million through the Getting Build Fund, which the University has match funded.
The project will incorporate sector-leading clinical simulation and immersion suites enabling healthcare professionals and students to explore and develop new patient safety techniques. A new entrance to the site will also be created alongside the reconfiguration and extension of existing car parking on campus. Work is expected to take 12 months including the design and securing planning permission and begins this month.
The contract win follows on from Pave Aways’ handover of a brand-new clinical suite and immersive rooms located in the Ashley 2 building at the University’s Leek Road campus in Stoke-on-Trent earlier this month. The areas created by Pave Aways will support the University’s commitment to providing quality learning experiences, bringing simulation sessions to life with audio-visual elements creating real-world simulations for students. Pave Aways has a long-standing relationship with the University having previously refurbished teaching blocks at the Stafford Centre of Excellence for Healthcare Education in 2016.
Andrew Proctor, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Digital) at Staffordshire University said: “We’re very excited to see work commence on our new healthcare innovation centre in Stafford with Pave Aways. Through our Connected University strategy, we are committed to creating inspirational and digitally-led environments that empower and bring communities together.
“The facilities will help fuel the local economy and transform the health workforce by encouraging and supporting health technology start-ups, creating jobs, and promoting economic growth in the region. Alongside this, students and partners will benefit from leading healthcare education through our new clinical simulation and immersion suites. We look forward to seeing our campus and wider communities transformed through this exciting development.”
Pave Aways is an experienced contractor in the education sector counting the University of Wolverhampton, Harper Adams University, Glyndwr University in Wrexham, and many primary, secondary, and private schools among its clients. It recently won an £8.44m contract from Shropshire Council to build carbon-neutral school buildings to extend primary provision in Shrewsbury.
Managing Director Steven Owen said: “We are delighted to have won this competitive tender. We have a strong track record within the further education sector, demonstrating our understanding and ability to deliver high-quality construction that meets the needs of our clients.
“The contract will provide a valuable economic boost to Stafford and the surrounding area as we will be employing locally based site staff and businesses in our supply chain within a 30-mile radius.”