Lampeter firm renovates Wales’ oldest university building


28.01.2020

Last autumn, Lampeter-based building company, J&E Woodworks Ltd started working on the renovation of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s iconic St David’s Building on the University’s Lampeter campus.

Campws Llambed / Lampeter Campus

Built between 1822 and 1827 to the designs of English architect and antiquary C R Cockerell, the Grade II* listed building in Lampeter has witnessed great change over the past two centuries. 

With the University looking forward to celebrating its bicentenary in 2022, the building is being given a £2M refurbishment and modernisation plan to provide fit-for-purpose facilities for twenty-first century learning and teaching.

The refurbishment is being undertaken in partnership with the Chin Kung Multi-Cultural Educational Foundation.  This partnership has already seen the development of new provision delivered at Lampeter via the Academy of Sinology, including professional doctorate programmes and conferences as well as investment into the campus infrastructure.

The building reconfiguration and refurbishment work is being undertaken by local contractor J&E Woodwork Ltd which last year celebrated its fiftieth year of trading.  With the company based in Lampeter, the project is already having a positive economic impact on the wider community.

Since being awarded the contract, J&E has extended its workforce by employing additional staff – three of whom were previously unemployed and another five regular sub-contractors who have been awarded six-month contracts.  Two new apprentices have also been taken on by the company resulting in a total of four apprentices working on the project with an additional apprentice about to start with the team via the Cyfle Building Skills shared apprenticeship scheme. 

“The majority of those working on the project are based in the Lampeter area and the average mileage to work for all employees and regular sub-contractors during this project is 6 miles one-way,” says Alan Thomas, Director of J&E Woodworks Ltd.

“Our workforce includes carpenters, plasterers, plumbers, electricians, painters and groundsmen – all of whom are regularly spending in the town, contributing to the local spend.  All of the bespoke joinery required for this refurbishment is manufactured in our workshop in Lampeter and we’re also sourcing most of our materials from the local builders’ merchant, again contributing to the local economy,” adds Alan.

The St David’s building houses the campus’ reception, accommodation, conference facilities, Founders’ Library, Chapel and a range of multiple purpose meeting spaces.  It is used extensively to support the academic work of the University including international conferences and lectures and its architectural character with traditional quad and cloisters also makes it a popular venue for external clients. 

The Grade II* building comprises a quadrangle with four ranges that cross at the angles. An entrance tower is to the south and a T-shaped projection to the north. There are further extensions to the quadrangle, most notably to the north-west and south-east.

The refurbishment will include upgrading the current facilities to include en-suite accommodation as well as an enhanced library and multi-purpose spaces. 

“The St David’s Building is a treasured part of the University estate and signifies the birthplace of higher education in Wales”, said Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Provost of the Lampeter campus. “I’m delighted that the refurbishment, whilst being sympathetic to its architectural heritage, will ensure that the facilities are commensurate with the needs of learning and teaching in today’s competitive higher education environment”.

“The University makes a valuable contribution to the region’s economy and I’m delighted that the refurbishment work is being undertaken by local suppliers, J & E Woodwork who are also ensuring that the supply chain provides work for companies in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.” 

For further information about UWTSD’s Lampeter campus, please visit: https://uwtsd.ac.uk/lampeter/

Further Information

 

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk