Irwin Mitchell real estate team advises on Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre

The real estate team of Irwin Mitchell has advised Sheffield Hallam University on the acquisition of the development plot on the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park site for its new Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC).

The AWRC will be delivered by Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with Legacy Park Ltd and is set to become the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world.

It is supported by the UK government, which has committed £14 million of funding to the project. The AWRC will form a key part of the City Region’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID), a 2,000 acre centre of excellence for innovation-led research and industrial collaboration.

The primary aim of the AWRC will be to create innovations that will ‘improve the health of the nation’, tackling key issues such as static levels of physical activity, rising obesity and mental health. It will feature indoor and outdoor facilities for 70 researchers to carry out research on health and physical activity in collaboration with the private sector.

The new centre, which will be the centerpiece of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, will have facilities that include: a 7.5m-high indoor laboratory; a third generation pitch with cameras and tracking instruments; 3D biomechanical and gait analysis and scanning; a manufacturing workshop; MRI, CT, ultrasound, body composition measurement and physiological testing; and a technology demonstration hub. It has been designed by HLM Architects.

Irwin Mitchell has been involved with the project since July 2015. Sheffield Council obtained the main outline planning consent for the wider ‘Olympic Legacy Park’ in March 2016 and Sheffield Hallam University gained approval for the AWRC in September 2017. It is hoped building will start shortly.

The Irwin Mitchell team was led by real estate partner Kevin Fox and included 17 fee earning lawyers from the transactional real estate, construction, planning and tax teams.

Fox commented: “Sheffield Hallam’s vision is to develop the most advanced research and development centre for health and physical activity in the world and will be leading work which has the potential to transform the nation’s well-being.”

“We are delighted to be involved in such a prestigious project which is a major step forward for the University, the city and the UK. We look forward to working with the AWRC as this exciting project comes to fruition.”

Irwin Mitchell has advised Sheffield Hallam University in connection with its property matters since 1993. Other recent projects include the former Head Post Office and Woodbourn Road Athletics Stadium.