A traditional groundbreaking ceremony has taken place to mark the first official day of construction of the University of Winchester’s new landmark development at West Downs.. University Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter DL, CBE turned the first turf on the building site on Romsey Road, alongside Andy Steele, CEO of construction company Osborne, and Alan Titchmarsh, Chancellor of the University. During the ceremony, Andy Steele presented Joy Carter and Alan Titchmarsh with an engraved spade to commemorate the event.
The £50m new development, which will be built on undeveloped land within the West Downs site next to the Grade-II-listed West Downs Centre, will provide first-class teaching and learning facilities and will be home to Digital Futures, the University’s computer and digital-related degree programmes.
The scheme includes a 250-seat auditorium for performances; a café and food hall; a contemplation space; courtyard garden and library. Many of the facilities will be open for members of the local community to enjoy.
Professor Joy Carter said:
I’m delighted work is now under way on this exciting new development at West Downs. It represents a significant commitment for both the University and the city of Winchester and is a symbol of the University’s commitment to high standards of academic achievement.Professor Joy Carter, University of Winchester Vice-Chancellor
We are thrilled to see our West Downs scheme move one step closer to fruition. This is our fifth major project for the University of Winchester and we look forward to working closely with the client team and main contractor Osborne to deliver a landmark building.Richard Jobson, Founding Director, Design Engine Architects