Sheffield’s Diamond university block taking shape

The new engineering centre being built for the University of Sheffield
The new engineering centre being built for the University of Sheffield
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Sheffield’s newest university building is beginning to take shape as the so-called ‘Diamond’ rises into the sky.

The £81 million building will become a new engineering block for Sheffield University when it is completed – which is expected to be in time for the next academic year, starting in autumn 2015.

Professor Stephen Beck, head of multidisciplinary engineering education, who is overseeing The Diamond project, said: “This £80m project is the university’s largest ever investment in teaching and learning.

“Already, the building phase is being used by civil engineering students to enable them to better understand the practicalities of construction and this ability to blend theory and practise is a key element in our aim to provide the best learning experience.”

Cranes and workmen are still on the site , at the top of Broad Lane, near University Roundabout, but it has progressed quickly in recent months.

The new development is expected to create 400 jobs and also attract students from across the world to boost Sheffield’s engineering reputation.

During construction, it has created another 500 jobs, and the university says it will contribute £44.5m to the local economy during construction and the first year of operation, with an annual contribution of almost £21m after that.

However its creation meant the Edwardian wing of the former Jessop Hospital had to be demolished, causing much controversy.

Campaigners fought to save the Grade II-listed building and it went as far as going to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles for a decision.

However, in March 2013 it was announced he had decided not to call the decision in for review, much to the dismay of campaigners.

At the time the university said it had spent thousands of pounds trying to incorporate the Edwardian facade in its plans.

The building has been named The Diamond, because of its appearance.

When completed, it is expected to cater for up to 1,600 extra engineering students.

The Diamond will include specialist engineering teaching facilities, of lecture theatres, library services and social spaces.