LJMU reveals £64m redevelopment plan for former Copperas Hill sorting office

LJMU’s proposal would see development of the site in two phases – a Student Life building offering a number of student support services and a sports building, both to be open by summer 2020. Tony McDonough reports

Illustrative aerial view of LJMU’s proposed Student Life Building and Sports Hub


Liverpool’s former Royal Mail sorting office in Copperas Hill could be transformed into a one-stop student support services centre under a £64m plan revealed by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

Close to Lime Street station, the site was used as a postal sorting office until 2010 with the building demolished last year.

LJMU’s proposal would see development of the site in two phases. Subject to planning approval, phase one would see the development of two new buildings – a Student Life Building and sports building by summer 2020. The development sits inside Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter zone.

The Student Life facility will house a range of services, such as careers advice, international exchanges, and counselling and wellbeing support. A new Learning Commons will also be developed plus new dedicated space for the Students’ Union.

The sports building will have indoor facilities, including an eight-court sports hall and gymnasium, which will support teaching and research in sports studies as well as providing new sports facilities for students, staff and Students’ Union clubs and societies.

Image of LJMU’s proposed new development for the Copperas Hill site


Professor Nigel Weatherill, LJMU Vice-Chancellor, said: Copperas Hill is an area with significant potential for the university to create open pathways and public realm which will connect our two existing campuses in Mount Pleasant and Byrom Street. 

The scheme provides for the development of two major LJMU buildings set within new public spaces and landscaped routes. It will transform this area of the city for our students and staff, as well as for the residents and communities around this site.”

Though physically separate, the two buildings will be connected visually thanks to its architectural design that creates a single sweeping curve along the length of the new pathway crossing the site.

Faithful+Gould will act as project managers, quantity surveyors, employers’ agent and principal designers after being appointed via the Pagabo Professional Services in Construction and Premises public sector framework, an OJEU-compliant framework.

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