LJMU halts £100m Copperas Hill site plans

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The former Royal Mail base on Copperas Hill was to be turned into a £100m university hub. Pic by Elle Spencer © JMU Journalism

The former Royal Mail base on Copperas Hill was to be turned into a £100m university hub. Pic by Elle Spencer © JMU Journalism

The £100m building plans by Liverpool John Moores University for the Copperas Hill site have been scrapped due to the rising costs of redevelopment.

The former Royal Mail sorting office building had been earmarked by LJMU to centralise its operations in the city centre and move students away from the IM Marsh campus in Aigburth.

Royal Mail switched its local headquarters to Warrington in 2010, leaving the purpose-built site up for sale.

LJMU bought it a year later for around £3 million, with plans to rehouse its admissions and student support areas there while also creating a new site base lectures and parts of the university’s three libraries.

Liverpool City Council gave the green light to the now axed plans in March this year, with the development work expected to be completed by September 2018.

YouTube: LJMU

Plans for additional sports facilities and a rooftop terrace had also been discussed.

However, with projected costs spiralling up and beyond the £100m estimate, the university has now backed away from the original scheme.

An artist's impression of what the Copperas Hill site would have looked like. Pic © LJMU

An artist’s impression of what the Copperas Hill site would have looked like. Pic © LJMU

A statement issued by LJMU said: “The university has taken the decision to consider new design proposals for the site after deciding that the additional funds needed for the major refurbishment of the Royal Mail building would have a significant impact on the student experience, and would affect plans for redevelopment elsewhere on the LJMU estate.

“The university remains committed to the Copperas Hill site being a major catalyst development for students and the city of Liverpool and will propose new plans for the site early in the New Year.

“LJMU also reaffirms the university’s intention to move away from the IM Marsh site in Aigburth and bring all students into the centre of Liverpool.”