Construction begins on £5.2m Vinson Building at the University of Buckingham

In Buckingham, our Oxford construction team has started work on the Vinson Building, a £5.2 million hub for the research and study of Liberal Economics at the University of Buckingham.

The building, which will provide a focal point for the campus, has been funded by Lord Vinson, entrepreneur and co-founder of the Centre for Policy Studies, to help to widen understanding of the Constitution of Liberty – the belief that limiting the power of government is an essential element of a free society. Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTLEP) has also awarded a grant of £3 million for the project.

Our Oxford-based Beard team is building a three-storey learning and teaching centre which will feature a 160-seat lecture theatre, a double-height study centre complete with a mezzanine and informal learning spaces, a student café and a new university bookshop. The 2,300 sq m building will also provide nine seminar rooms and faculty and admin offices. We are also constructing a £5.5 million Academic Centre at Milton Keynes University Hospital for the University of Buckingham.

Designed by Panther Hudspith Architects, the Vinson Building has been carefully oriented so that some of the lecture theatre’s height is hidden in the sloping ground. The new energy-efficient building, which is being built to achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating, will feature photovoltaic solar panels on the roof and a series of planted trellis walls to encourage biodiversity and slow surface water runoff.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this high-profile and complex project which strengthens the University of Buckingham’s standing as a world-class centre for learning in the independent university sector”, says Andy Shephard, Beard contracts manager. “We are looking forward to working with the University and our delivery partners to bring the vision for the new centre to life.”

The state-of -the-art new building is being built at the heart of the university campus on the site of the existing Santander building. The bank will be relocated to the current university bookshop, which will be moved into the new Vinson Building. The project is due for completion in September next year.

Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham, Sir Anthony Seldon says: “We are enormously grateful to Lord Vinson and to the Government and the LEP for their extremely generous contributions. It shows that we are regarded as an integral part of the local economy. The Vinson Building for Liberal Economics and Entrepreneurship will provide excellent research and teaching opportunities as well as being a hub for the University and for the community. It is the most exciting new building in our 40-odd year history.”

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