Stoford Developments has announced the start of construction of LGIM Real Assets’ (Legal & General) £5.5 million centre of excellence in Northampton, which will support the worldwide leather industry.
The new International Leather Centre (ILC) at the University of Northampton will be a global hub, delivering technical excellence in education, training and research.
The 27,000 sq ft development, funded by Legal & General, will include tannery, offices, classrooms and teaching laboratories. The University of Northampton has committed to a 25-year lease which represents their long-term commitment to the facility.
Work has commenced on the 1.09-acre site at the university’s new Waterside Campus and will reach practical completion in April 2019. A&H Construction has been appointed main contractor.
Stoford Director, Gerard Ludlow, said: “The new International Leather Centre will help to secure the university’s reputation as a leading higher education provider in this specialist sector and a global hub for the leather industry.
“We are excited to be leading the development of this landmark building at the Waterside Campus which will enable the University Institute for Creative Leather Technologies and its commercial partners to integrate further with other university subjects.”
Terry Neville, Chief Operating Officer of the University of Northampton, said: “It is a great success that we have secured the delivery of the International Leather Centre on our new Waterside Campus. The teaching building will be the only one of its kind in the UK and demonstrates the university’s ongoing commitment to the global leather industry.”
Rob Codling, Fund Manager at LGIM Real Assets, said: “This deal further strengthens our existing relationship with Stoford and we are delighted to be working in collaboration to support the future of the University of Northampton and its state-of-the-art campus. This funding deal is in line with our Fund strategy to increase our exposure to long-term secure income streams, with a focus on alternatives.”
The new development will replace the existing Institute for Creative Leather Technologies building, which is currently based at the University’s Park Campus. The centre’s research responds to the scientific and technological needs of the automotive, fashion, footwear and allied leather industries.
Stoford is one of the UK’s leading commercial developers. It has delivered projects totaling over 13 million sq ft of floor space across the UK since it was founded in 1996 and currently has more than 1.5 million sq ft of space under construction throughout the UK.