Businesses in the North West reaped an economic harvest from construction work on the University of Salford’s New Adelphi Arts Centre, it has been revealed.

The £55 million building was handed over by Salford based contractors BAM to the University of Salford and opened last month. 19 orders of more than £100,000 were placed within the north, with nine of these being in or around Manchester. Only eight orders of £100,000 were from outside the north of England, and all but one were within the UK.

Four of the six million pound plus contracts went to firms in Stockport and Manchester, with a fifth from a Leeds-based supplier. Smaller companies also emerged as winners, with three quarters of the contracts valued between £50,000 and £100,000 going to local companies, as did two thirds of orders valued at over £10,000 and under £50,000.


“Building this very demanding and complex building required a lot of expertise and experience. It’s often the case that the more specialist a scheme is, the further afield you have to go for your suppliers and materials.

“But we have been able to source a vast amount of the services within the North West and North East of England, competitively. That says a lot about the strength of what is sometimes called the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

“What it also shows is how effective construction projects are at creating local economic benefits. There is no better way to regenerate an area than to build there, because so many of the knock-on benefits are felt by the small businesses who service the work we do.

“Manchester alone provided our tarmac works, wall mirrors, timber flooring, floor finishes, scaffolding, steelwork, drainage, security, sheet piling, excavation, and mechanical and electrical to name just some.

“We estimate around 70 per cent of people who worked on the scheme live within the north west including 24 per cent from Salford and central Manchester.”

Tony Grindrod

Construction Director for BAM Construction

BAM gave lectures and presentations throughout the build, hosted sessions to prepare students for employment, provided work experience to 21 young people, employed 47 apprentices and helped nine students with research and dissertation support.

Mr Grindrod said: “At BAM we’ve always said it’s not just what we build that matters, but it’s also how we build, and it is very satisfying that so many of our orders were placed locally, especially because our offices are in Salford Quays. Many of the BAM team, including myself, came to the University of Salford so we're proud to have delivered what will now become such a landmark building for the University at the gateway to its campus.”

The 15,000 square metres building has eight storeys and houses courses in art, design, fashion, photography, music, performance and dance - as well as the new architecture programme. It will also provide an extensive resource for the local community. The Salford Television Workshop will be the first of many community organisations to get involved with the new centre.

Over 1,000 tonnes of structural steel and 5,500 square metres of reinforced concrete were used. It contains a café, a bar, a rooftop terrace and wildlife attracting green roof. Its distinctive large walkway, cutting through the centre of the building, will lead visitors into the heart of the University’s Peel Park campus.

Tony Grindrod added: “This building has involved some real challenges with the amount of structural steelwork required and the huge number of specialist facilities to fit inside, but the team has pulled together to deliver an impressive facility while still making time to benefit students and local people with a huge amount of learning and employment opportunities.”