Construction of the University of Birmingham’s High Temperature Research Centre reached a significant milestone this week as the University and contractor Wates Construction celebrated the development’s ‘topping out’.


Traditionally held to bring luck to a new building when it has reached its upper-most point, the topping out ceremony took place on site of the £12m development at Ansty Park in Coventry. Representatives from the University marked the occasion by signing the final roof panel which was then put into place at the top of the development.

The 5,800 sq m facility will be a unique casting, design, simulation and advanced manufacturing research facility and will focus initially on the key design and manufacturing aspects of investment casting when complete, which is scheduled for Spring 2015.

Alongside the High Temperature Research Centre, Wates is concurrently delivering the new £9m Aerospace Research Centre on behalf of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and MTC’s £14m Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre. Together, the three R&D schemes will position Ansty Park as a ground-breaking new home for innovation excellence as part of an ambitious £90m expansion.

Phil Harrison, Managing Director, Wates Construction, Midlands & North, commented: “The vision for Ansty Park sets the bar for innovative R&D facilities and when complete, will further add to Coventry and the Midlands’ global reputation for manufacturing excellence. We are proud to be entrusted with the delivery of the High Temperature Research Centre alongside that of the Aerospace Research Centre and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre and are delighted to demonstrate the progress we are making with today’s milestone.”

Professor Jon Binner, deputy head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said: “The new centre will build on the University of Birmingham’s existing research base and bring a new capability to what we are able to do. Our experience in the fields of casting, materials, engineering and manufacturing research is held in high regard already – and the dedicated facility will help us to build on this to benefit the manufacturing sector through research, collaboration and innovation. We are delighted to be able to celebrate this topping out milestone which brings us yet another large step closer to the centre’s opening and work here beginning.”

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Picture caption: Nick Kay of Rolls Royce, John Egerton of Mace and Richard Scarrott from Wates with (front) Prof Jon Binner, from the University of Birmingham's College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, signing a roof panel as the HTRC is topped out.

For more information, please contact Kara Griffiths on +44 (0)7812 671797.