Firm’s high hopes for a towering success

Lancaster University.
Lancaster University.
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Lancaster-based company and chamber of commerce member Askam Construction has been awarded a £3m-plus contract by the city’s university to refurbish Bowland Tower - one of its most distinctive and original buildings.

Local suppliers have benefitted from multi-million pound investments by the university in new buildings and services over the last ten years.

And the university has pledged to use local businesses where possible.

Bowland Tower is located at the heart of Lancaster University’s campus and is a well-recognised part of its arhitecture.

At 14 storeys high, the popular upper floors give spectacular views over both Morecambe Bay and the surrounding fells.

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

Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce is currently working with the university to discuss how other 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 £333m into our local economy.”

Managing director of Askam Construction, John Lowery, added: “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, suppliers in the region and sub-contractors.

“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 and District 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.”