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University of Northampton Waterside Campus

With an overall project value of £330m, the soft landscaping element was £2.3m which was inclusive of soil import.  The soft landscape programme was a 15 month build with a 12 month maintenance programme from Practical Completion.  This overall scheme has recently won “Construction Project of the Year” and the SOFT LANDSCAPING scheme has recently been announced as a winner in this years’ BALI Awards.

The new Waterside Campus is home to 14,000 students, with 1,000 students living in the new accommodation village. With a host of new student halls, hotel, lecture theatres, teaching hubs and social centres, including the old engine shed. The new campus is built on a 58-acre capped brownfield site which was formally the home of a large coal-fired power station. We advised, sourced and imported over 50,000m3 of soil to meet various exacting specifications to support the establishment and success of the landscape scheme.   


The landscape scheme was extremely detailed to ensure that instant impact was achieved in key social areas including impactful planting and formal lawns, along with more relaxed woodland and wildflower areas for students to enjoy. The project consisted of and installation of 4 ha of wildflower seeding, 2.5 ha of amenity seeding, 1.6 ha of amenity turf, 0.8 ha of bespoke grown wildflower turf, 1000 no. standard & semi mature trees, 100 no. mature trees plus 80,000 ornamental shrubs, and 20,000 bulbs.


This was an extremely challenging scheme undertaken on an ever developing and highly active site. The delivery team needed to be at their very best, dealing with multiple challenges and meeting the requirements of two main contractors simultaneously.  Installation was completed during the incredibly hot and dry summer of 2018, which saw the requirement of 24-hour watering to ensure that the vast array of landscaping not only survived but thrived, in readiness for opening to the Students in September 2018.

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