University of Glasgow learning hub construction generates over £135m in social value



The construction of the University of Glasgow’s new James McCune Smith Learning Hub has generated more than £135 million in social value, according to a new report by lead contractor Multiplex.

Photography by Alaisdair Smith

Giving undergraduate and postgraduate students access to state-of-the-art learning spaces, the new teaching facility will accommodate over 2,500 students, including a lecture theatre with capacity for 500 people, as well as other interactive teaching spaces ranging in capacity from 75 to 340 students.

The hub also includes a number of seminar and group study spaces, as well as a café on the ground floor. It delivers a high-quality conference venue on the University of Glasgow campus, which will bring significant benefits to the Glasgow economy by providing an events and exhibitions resource for the West End community.

Using Social Profit Calculator methodology accredited by Social Value UK, the professional body for social value and impact management, the new Social Value report by Multiplex shows that £1.87 has been generated in return for every £1 spent by the University in the construction of this major new learning and teaching facility.

The economic impacts are being felt locally by businesses and supply chain partners, but the report also details other social outcomes, such as the value of education, training and work opportunities generated by the project.

The project has generated investment of over £73m in the local area, which includes economic benefits for local supply chains and companies that service the site, as well as over £45m to the economy (Gross Value Added). Employment opportunities including apprenticeships, work placements and new entrants have delivered a social impact of over £11m. Training opportunities valued at over £1.5m have also been generated by the project, including health and wellbeing initiatives, first aid and other training courses.

The report also shows that the construction of the James McCune Smith Learning Hub proved an effective pathway for engaging new talent with the construction industry by creating positions for 47 new entrants.

Professor Frank Coton, vice principal academic planning & technological innovation at the University of Glasgow, said: “When we conceived the project, we envisaged a building that not only served the University community, but also added to the social fabric of our local community and the city. As part of this, we wanted to ensure we were working with our lead contractor, Multiplex, to maximise the societal benefits that the construction process will bring to the local area – it is therefore very satisfying to see these so clearly displayed in the findings of this report.”

Darren Pike, project director for Multiplex, said: “We are committed to delivering positive social and economic impacts as part of the historic development of the University of Glasgow campus, ensuring a lasting legacy for our local communities. By working in partnership with the University of Glasgow, our supply chain, and community partners, we are able to maximise our outcomes, creating sustainable employment and skills opportunities, engaging with local SMEs and social enterprises, and supporting our community groups.

We are proud that the James McCune Smith Learning Hub project has facilitated school and university research projects throughout the construction phase and will now deliver state-of-the-art learning for many years to come.”



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