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Preston performing arts centre gets under way - image

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Work has started on this new £11 million performing arts centre in Preston, designed by architect SMC DTR:UK.

The five-storey building for the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) will provide classrooms, theatre spaces, a café and an open foyer as well as a digital media centre and business incubation units on the top floor.

Dubbed the Media Factory, the 8,000m 2centre will be built around a solid acoustic 'core' which will house the performance spaces.

It is not the first time the Manchester-based practice has worked for UCLAN, having already masterminded the university's student union complex.

Practice director Lee Mansfield said: 'This is a significant project for the design team and the university.

'We certainly hope that its design, both internally and externally, will inspire students and the UCLAN team in their endeavours to become a creative centre of excellence.'

The building is expected to open to students in September 2007.

by Richard Waite

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