A new £22.5m University of Huddersfield building will be ready for opening in time for the New Year.

The university's Learning and Leisure Centre looks set to be completed four months ahead of schedule.

A big Christmas push by construction workers means students and staff can look forward to state-of-the-art sport, leisure, catering and social facilities when it opens in mid-January next year.

The dramatic, aluminium-clad building sits on the corner of Wakefield Road, close to the Shorehead roundabout.

Its opening will see the closure of the university’s existing sports hall at the end of term in December to make way for its demolition.

The site will then be landscaped while future development possibilities are discussed.

The new Learning and Leisure Centre is clad in stone-coloured anodised aluminium and contains a new eight-court sports hall, an 80-space fitness suite, squash courts and dance studios.

 

The Students’ Union will also be rehoused in new facilities there and students and staff will have a choice of four new food outlets and a larger shop.

The top floor of the new building will have space for conferences and meetings.

The entrance to the university’s Central Service Building will be remodelled with key services, including careers advice, more immediately accessible.

The project – which started at the beginning of this year – was due to be completed by late April, but the project progressed rapidly, thanks to Wakefield-based contractors GB Building Solutions.

Colin Blair, the university’s director of estates and facilities, said: “Originally we said we would open the new Learning and Leisure Centre at Easter but because the project has gone so well I thought we might as well go for it and work to complete the building over the Christmas holiday period.”

He praised the flexibility of the contractors, who also worked on the university’s �12m 3M Buckley Innovation Centre on Firth Street, along with the university’s own in-house project management team.