4 September 2013 16:21

Lancaster-based company and Chamber of Commerce member Askam Construction has been awarded a contract by Lancaster University in excess of £3million to refurbish one of its distinctive and original buildings - Bowland Tower.

High quality local suppliers have benefitted from multi-million pound investments by the University in new buildings and services over the last ten years and have also benefitted from the University’s commitment to using local businesses where possible.

Bowland Tower is located at the heart of Lancaster University’s campus and is a well-recognised part of the University’s architecture. At 14 storeys high, the popular upper floors give spectacular views over both Morecambe Bay and the surrounding fells.

Opened in 1968, this striking feature is now to have a complete make-over, with more than £4 million being invested by Lancaster University into the refurbishment of accommodation within the tower and the south and east wings of the connected buildings.

Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce is currently working with Lancaster University to discuss how local businesses can be supported to form trade networks with the University.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith said: “I am very pleased that the University is generating opportunities which local companies are able to take advantage of. We have an important role to play in contributing to the economic success of our region and last year put about £333 million into our local economy.”

Managing Director of Askam Construction, John Lowery commented: "This is great news because by employing a local company like Askam Construction, the University is ensuring that the cash from its projects stay in the area. Every £1,000 the University spends with Askam is used locally to pay staff, local suppliers and subcontractors. That in turn is used to employ local people and buy a high proportion of their supplies in the area. The trickle-down effect means that same £1,000 (minus the Government’s cut) can be spent five or six times in the Lancaster district."

Lancaster Chamber of Commerce President Angela Seel said:  “The Chamber is committed to ensuring our members have every opportunity to forge stronger links with the University to enable growth within the local economy.”