Members of the University of Worcester’s Community Forum were among the first to visit the University’s new health and wellbeing building as it nears completion.
Members of the forum had the chance to take a tour of the new facility, which was previously the Worcester News building on Hylton Road, and said they were impressed by the transformation.
Councillor Chris Mitchell said: “It is hugely impressive and the thought from both a teaching and sustainability perspective that has gone into the building are a credit to both the University and developer. It was also interesting to hear about the University's students’ good work across the city, via the Students’ Union reps who provided a very informative presentation. The benefits to the NHS and our local hospital that locally trained doctors and medical professionals will bring is hard to overestimate.”
Michael Clarke, a local resident, whose wife worked at Berrows House for many years and himself spent time working in the building, added: “When we visited the new building with the University Community Forum I could not recognise the interior which had been radically changed. I was hugely impressed with the new design, especially the spacious atrium. I feel medical students will have a fantastic venue to start their careers.”
The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson building, as it is now known, named after the first woman to qualify as a physician and surgeon in the UK, is set to open around Easter time.
In keeping with the University’s other buildings and commitment to sustainability, the building has been refurbished to outstanding environmental specifications by complete construction partner Stepnell, which includes the gold-coloured inert copper alloy cladding to the exterior, which is a highly efficient, economical and long-lasting material.
The building will provide outstanding facilities for the University’s health students, including Nursing and Midwifery. It will also be the home of the University’s new Three Counties Medical School, which will welcome its first cohort of students this September.
Professor David Green CBE DL, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive at the University, said: “Applications to our Three Counties Medical School are buoyant. Relations with our many partners in the NHS are excellent. This important development, alongside our vital work in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions will be a further major contribution for the good to the health of the people in this region and beyond.”
Adrian Barnes, regional director at Stepnell, said: “We are incredibly pleased with the outcome of this project to create high-quality teaching facilities for healthcare trainees, designing and building a striking and essential learning space for students.”
The new facility, alongside the University of Worcester Arena, forms part of the wider development of the Severn Campus, which will become a dedicated centre of excellence for a variety of health and wellbeing education, as well as regenerating a central part of the City and the St John’s riverside.
Development of the campus infrastructure is well advanced with new cycle and pedestrian paths installed, as well as over 100 electric vehicle charging points, making it one of the largest car charging facilities in Europe.