Construction of the University of Bolton’s Institute of Medical Sciences has far surpassed its local spend targets, with current figures for expenditure within a 20-mile radius totaling £12.3m, more than doubling its initial target of £6m.
The Institute has emerged as a beacon of positive change in its local community since the ambitious plan was approved in June 2019.
The £40m facility is being constructed by contractors Willmott Dixon and represents the single largest investment into healthcare in the region for decades.
It will provide education to around 3,000 learners annually and revolutionise the training approach for nurses and other clinical care professionals. This also includes doctors, pending the university’s successful application for medical school status.
The project received £20m from the first round of funding from the Levelling Up Fund, making it one of the biggest LUF grants for any skills and employment project in the UK.
It provided Bolton with a golden opportunity to boost its economic prospects. The remaining £20m for the project has been invested by the University. IMS aims to contribute £150m to the local economy over its lifetime.
The multi-million local spend figure largely stems from local employment, with Willmott Dixon creating five jobs onsite and over 20 local jobs in its supply chain, four of which have gone to apprentices from Bolton College, which is part of the University of Bolton Group.
A portion of this local expenditure can be attributed to the site’s engagement with social enterprises throughout its construction. A total of £154k has been spent with local social enterprises, such as We Are Footprint SE, a recruitment agency that identifies people who face significant barriers to employment and supports their transition back into the workforce.
The building site is providing invaluable hands-on experience to aspiring professionals. It has hosted T Level students from Bolton College and a site supervisor apprenticeship has been created, showcasing IMS’ commitment to producing local, skilled leaders to progress into the construction industry.
Ensuring the fabric of the community is woven into the final build, the past 12 months have seen local people and apprentices spend a cumulative 178 weeks onsite. This includes a student from the University of Bolton, who has now completed a three-month internship on the site over summer.
Professor George Holmes DL, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, says:
“The Institute of Medical Sciences represents the best of Bolton and its surrounding areas. IMS is truly delivering on levelling up commitments for Bolton and it’s wonderful to see the local community at the heart of this process.”
Anthony Dillon, Willmott Dixon’s Managing Director in the north, said:
“The Institute is being built for the people of Bolton by the people of Bolton, and we’re passionate about working with the University of Bolton and our local supply chain partners to create sustainable employment opportunities and a lasting positive legacy in this community.”