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University sketches out £23m art plan

CONTRACTS MERSEYSIDE

FOUR firms are getting ready to put pen to paper for a £23 million deal to build an Art and Design Academy at John Moores University in Liverpool.

Wates, HBG and Shepherd have been joined by Amec, making a rare appearance on a tender list, for the scheme, which will see a new building constructed next to the famous Metropolitan Cathedral in the city centre.

Designed by Rick Mather & Associates, the academy will also provide a wide range of art classes and business workshops for the people of Liverpool. It will also host training classes for local f irms.

Extending over five floors, the academy has been designed in a long serpentine shape winding around the cathedral precincts.

Planning permission for the development, which will include a two-storey foyer as its centre point, was secured in December.

Tende r s go back on September 27 with a start on site pencilled in for January next year.

The academy is set to open in 2008, when Liverpool will become the European Capital of Culture.