Belfast's £150m Ulster University campus contract to be joint venture
A joint venture by Lagan Construction Group and Somague, one of Europe's biggest builders, has won the £150m contract for phase two of Ulster University's new Belfast campus.
The city centre build is currently the biggest construction job being carried out in Northern Ireland - at a time when the industry is feeling the chill effect of cuts to infrastructure spending.
Work started on the 75,000 sq metre development at York Street in 2014 and is due to finish in 2018. Professor Alastair Adair, who is acting vice-chancellor at the university, said: "At a crucial time for Ulster University and for the higher education sector, today's announcement brings us a step closer to realising our plans to deliver a modern, first-class teaching and learning environment which the people of Northern Ireland deserve and can be truly proud of.
"By 2018, over 15,000 students and staff will bring the new campus to life, bringing much-needed regeneration to this area of the city. Not only will the positive impact on higher education be felt for generations to come, but the impact on the economy, particularly in terms of the construction sector, will be invaluable with over 5,000 construction jobs supported during the project build and fit out period."
Lagan Construction Group chief executive Colin Loughran said: "This is a landmark build in a key part of the city and one which will shape both the community and the construction sector for years to come."
Rui Vieira de Sa, president of Somague, said it was the firm's first partnership with a Northern Ireland construction company.
"We look forward to commencing what is an exciting large-scale project for the people of Northern Ireland."
Last year the university secured a £150m loan from the European Investment Bank.