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School of Architecture
and Built Environment
Project Timeline


The site was originally purchased in 1873 by William Butler to house his growing brewing business, with the Springfield Brewery opening under the William Butler and Company name. At its peak, the Springfield Brewery was producing 1,500 barrels of beer a week and employing 900 people.

Image source: Historic England Archive


In 2004 a huge fire devastated Wolverhampton's Springfield Brewery site, wiping out 131 years of history.

More than 100 firefighters from crews across the West Midlands and Staffordshire battled through the night in a bid to save the Grade II listed building.

Former workers watched in disbelief as the building - one of the city's most protected conservation sites - was burned down.

Image source:The Atkins’ University of Wolverhampton School of Architecture & Built Environment Springfield Brewery, Wolverhampton Heritage Impact Assessment Report July 2016


The University of Wolverhampton unveiled multi million-pound plans to transform the site to create a new hub for construction education. There are plans to redevelop the site to become the home of the new West Midlands Construction UTC (University Technical College). The University also has plans to relocate its own School of Architecture and the Built Environment to the site.

Image source: Express & Star

January 2017

The UTC will provide education for 14 to 19-year olds specialising in construction and the application of IT in the built environment and will prepare students for professional and technical careers in construction. The college's partnership with employers, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the University of Wolverhampton will ensure that the college is able to support students beyond their graduation and throughout their career.

February 2018

The ECMS is an employer-led training facility for the Black Country, designed to enhance productivity in the region’s high value manufacturing sector. Building on the region’s renowned industrial heritage, the Elite Centre will drive economic growth in the Black Country – and beyond – by providing specialist training to upskill the current and future workforce, helping to close skills gaps identified by employers.

The Elite Centre is based at the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus and will deliver skills training, through short courses and apprenticeships

Image source: The University of Wolverhampton

May 2018

The Brownfield Institute will be home to a team of specialist researchers, consultants and industry experts who will advise on all aspects of brownfield development from dealing with contaminated land to repurposing buildings and sites.

The Institute will also look at new and innovative construction methods such as modular housing and will seek to work closely with industry providing commercial lab testing space and looking at new technology.

Read more about brownfield remediation in the education sector

May 2018

The design aims to keep as much heritage as possible and add stunning new buildings which reflect the site's historic industrial surroundings. Designers have worked closely with conservation specialists, planners and Historic England. The School will specialise in supporting skills in architecture, construction, civil engineering, building control, building services, facilities management, quantity surveying, planning, construction management, housing and commercial.

Read more about using collaborative frameworks to procure higher education design consultancy services

Image source:The Atkins’ University of Wolverhampton School of Architecture & Built Environment Springfield Brewery, Wolverhampton Heritage Impact Assessment Report July 2016

October 2018

Main contractor for the School of Architecture and Built Environment (SOABE) project, ISG, starts on site. This project represents the final and largest element of the first phase of regeneration works at the university’s Springfield Campus.

Read more about the SOABE scheme start on site

November 2018

The groundbreaking event comprised a presentation from Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Jackie Dunne from the University of Wolverhampton outlining how SOABE fits in with the regeneration of the Springfield Campus. Also, at the ceremony, a time capsule was buried. The capsule contains artefacts including building materials and photos from the former Springfield Brewery.

Read more about the Groundbreaking Ceremony

July 2019

This marks a hugely symbolic moment for the University and the wider redevelopment of this iconic Wolverhampton site. Midlands’ company, Clock Tower People Ltd, based in Worcestershire, designed and created the new bespoke clock which is an exact replica of the original which presided over the former Springfield Brewery buildings.

Feb 2020

The design team were joined by the deputy mayor of Wolverhampton, representatives from the University, local business partners and former employees of the Springfield Brewery.

Read more about the SOABE topping out ceremony

August 2020

The University of Wolverhampton took delivery of the keys to the new £28 million School of Architecture and Built Environment on 28th August. The momentous occasion has seen the transformation of a derelict piece of land into a magnificent place of learning and research which will change the way people view brownfield regeneration.

Read more about the handover here