The University of Wolverhampton is to be home to a new national brownfield centre, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has announced.
Based at the University’s new Springfield Campus, which itself is a 12 acre £100m brownfield regeneration project in Wolverhampton city centre, the National Brownfield Institute will be housed alongside the University’s new School of Architecture and Built Environment. It will be home to a team of specialist researchers, consultants and industry experts who will advise on all aspects of brownfield development from dealing with contaminated land to repurposing buildings and sites.
The Institute is being funded as part of the £350m Housing Deal for the West Midlands that the Chancellor announced would go to the West Midlands Combined Authority in his Spring Statement. The authority has set an ambitious target to build 215,000 new homes by 2031 to help solve the region’s housing shortage.
Commenting on the announcement the Mayor said: “The institute and training fund will help safeguard and nurture our region’s most important assets – its people and land – helping to give everyone the opportunity of a decent job and an affordable home.
“The West Midlands economy is going from strength to strength but that growth brings its own pressures and we need to build 215,000 new homes by 2031 to meet our future housing and economic needs. That will require fresh ways of thinking and greater use of new, advanced home building methods.”
Work has already been started by the University on creating a digital twin map, which is an interactive platform identifying brownfield sites which could be developed and offering full details about size, location and condition. The institute will also look at new and innovative construction methods such as modular housing
For more information about the development visit www.wlv.ac.uk/springfield
Image: (from left to right) Quantity Surveying student Kirsty Baker, Construction Management graduate Karina Connolly, Andy Street, Construction Management graduate Rowena Valentine, Quantity Surveying Student Ryan Allen and Senior Lecturer Glynis Hampton.