Bay Campus site to be opened up to encourage careers interest

Contractors working on Swansea University’s new £450m Bay Campus, which is being developed in partnership with leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen, are opening the site to visitors as a way of encouraging young people to consider a career in construction and giving the wider community a chance to see how the build is progressing.

VINCI Construction UK, Bouygues UK and Galliford Try are working together to open up the site under an industry wide initiative known as the Open Doors Weekend. The event, which takes place on 6 and 7 March, will see more than 100 different sites being opened up to members of the public, so they can take a peep at the developments and hear about what it’s like to work in construction.

The Bay Campus is one of the largest and most diverse sites taking part and one of only four in Wales.

Construction of the Bay Campus started in the summer of 2013 and it will be open and take its first students in September of this year.

The build includes new homes for the University’s College of Engineering and School of Management, which are moving from the existing Singleton Park campus; space for industry collaboration through the Institute of Structural Materials and the Energy Safety Research Institute; accommodation for around 1500 students to live on site; ancillary support facilities including a gym, crèche, supermarket, bank and post office; a new Library with superb views over the sea and the neighbouring Site of Special Scientific Interest; and the Great Hall, which, as well as housing lecture theatres and teaching rooms, will also have a 700 seater auditorium and will host events open to the public.

Each of the contractors is responsible for specific buildings on site and the first of these, the Institute of Structural Materials, has already been handed over to the University by VINCI Construction UK.

“The site is hugely diverse in terms of the build” said Jerry Williams, site director for VINCI Construction UK, the developer responsible for the lion share of the build. “Taking part in UKCG Open Doors Weekend means that we have a chance to show people what is being developed and highlight the diversity of careers available in construction. Working with Bouygues UK and Galliford Try, we aim to use the opportunity to inspire more young people to consider working in this exciting and challenging industry, which is one of the 9 key sectors prioritised by the Welsh Government.”

The site visits will involve a talk about careers in construction, a chance to meet some of the people working on the development, a bus tour of the site and a walking visit to one of the key buildings. There are six sessions taking place for the public, two on Friday 6 and four on Saturday 7 March. 

Bouygues UK Regional Managing Director, Chris Stevens, said:  “Open Doors Weekend was set up to give people a real insight into the work that goes on behind the hoardings on construction sites. The industry itself is a major employer in the UK and contributes around 8% of GDP. I’d encourage people to come along and take a look at the great work that is being carried out here on the Swansea University Bay Campus, where Bouygues UK, Vinci and Galliford Try are all involved in the delivery of a range of different types of buildings – from student accommodation to the Energy and Safety Research Institute. As they are all at different stages of being built, it will give people a chance to see the various techniques and skills that are used throughout the construction process and, hopefully, encourage more people to think of choosing a career in the industry.”

For Galliford Try, the Bay Campus visits are in addition to opening up another 19 sites across the UK that they are currently working on. VINCI Construction UK teams are opening up 4 other sites and Bouygues UK another 2.

Jon Young, Operations Director for Galliford Try, said “As a company we are proud to support the Open Doors initiative and introduce young people and the wider community to the exciting opportunities available within construction. Working with colleagues at VINCI Construction UK and Bouygues UK, we hope to offer a real insight into a large scale diverse development and the reasons why it’s a fascinating and rewarding career option for those with an interest and the right skills.”

The Open Doors Weekend is not the only initiative being taken to encourage interest. Between them, the contractors have already welcomed more than 550 visitors to the site from further and higher education institutions and have been able to offer more than 2,650 skills weeks to 111 different people.