University wellbeing centre start of Town Deals boost for Ipswich

East Building, University of Suffolk

The East Building at the University of Suffolk will be refurbished as part of the Care Campus. - Credit: Bluecube

One of the first projects to benefit from Ipswich's Towns Deal bid is the University of Suffolk's new health and wellbeing centre that will be developed in its East Building over the next nine months.

The new centre is the centrepiece of the "Care Campus" proposal on the list of projects that the town wanted to deliver with £25m of Town Deal funding.

Barnes Construction has been awarded the tender to develop the new health and wellbeing quarter at the University. The East Building will be extensively refurbished as part of the works and it is due to open for students in early 2022. 

Once completed, the East Building will provide space dedicated to educating and supporting healthcare students and professionals, providing facilities that mirror those you would expect to see in hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. 

To support the changing needs of health and social care services the new building will enable the University to double the number of places for students wishing to study as nurses, midwives, paramedics and radiographers as well as starting a new course in physiotherapy.

Nigel Lucker, director of estates at the University of Suffolk and project lead, said, “The refurbishment is critical for our Estates strategy and the East Building will accommodate specialist teaching and clinical skills areas. It will bring together current and new provision to create a Health and Wellbeing quarter.” 

Bob Steward, Joint MD of Barnes Construction said “This scheme complements our already extensive experience of working in the education and health sectors. As an Ipswich-based employer, we are very pleased to be involved in a project in the heart of our hometown, which not only enhances educational opportunities locally, but also supports the recruitment requirements of the NHS and other healthcare providers.”  

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Several local businesses are working on the project, alongside Barnes Construction, including KLH Architects, Superstructures and Castons. 

The East Building, will house two floors of brand-new clinical simulation facilities, featuring two state-of-the-art hospital wards, a midwifery birthing unit, a psychology lab, a new sports and exercise facility, a working radiography imaging suite, counselling/physiotherapy clinic rooms and the Suffolk Institute of Health and Wellbeing research.