Designs unveiled as Launceston's new university campus builds momentum

Designs have been revealed for the River’s Edge and Willis Street buildings – the final major buildings of the University of Tasmania’s new Launceston campus.

Development applications for the River’s Edge and the Willis Street buildings will be submitted today, with construction due to start next year.

The cornerstone buildings will house a significant portion of the University’s teaching and research activity in the revitalised Inveresk cultural and educational precinct.

The university campus relocation will increase access to education, boost the region’s economy and connect the Inveresk Precinct to the CBD, and is the centrepiece of the $453.4 million Launceston City Deal.

The UTAS project will create around 430 jobs during construction – 20 per cent will be apprentices and trainees – and around 230 ongoing jobs.

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the Morrison Government’s $254 million City Deal investment was an economic injection for the region with sustained long-term benefits.

“The new campus is the biggest construction project in Launceston’s history and will create hundreds of local jobs during construction,” Mr Tudge said.

“It’s building a future for Launceston where the University is connected to the community, where students will be adding life to the city centre filling bars and cafes.”  

Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government’s $130 million investment in the new Inveresk campus will provide Northern Tasmania with contemporary, distinctive learning and research facilities.

“The University’s new campus is designed to help deliver education and research that supports the North and North-West – courses that align with local economic needs and strengths, and research to benefit and build local industries,” Mr Tehan said.

Tasmanian Minister for State Growth Michael Ferguson said it was exciting to see momentum building for such a pivotal project for Launceston. The Tasmanian Government is contributing $60 million towards the relocation as part of our $119 million investment in the Launceston City Deal.

“This project is putting education at the heart of our community, driving economic growth at every stage,” Mr Ferguson said.

“It is great to see Tasmanian firms like Vos Construction and Joinery and BridgePro Engineering working on those parts of the campus that are already underway, and we look forward to new opportunities flowing as these final buildings move through the planning phase.”

Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer said 2020 was an exciting year for the project with work already underway on the campus’ first major building, the Library and Student Experience building.

“With workers on site and the new bridge over the North Esk River on track to be completed by the end of the year, it is great to see the designs of these next two buildings,” Ms Archer said.

“We are now seeing the pieces coming together for what will be a thriving educational and cultural precinct at Inveresk, one that reaches across the river and connects with City Park and the CBD beyond.” 

University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said the new campus would enhance Inveresk as an important social, cultural, educational and sporting precinct for the whole community.

“This place has experienced an extraordinary evolution over time and as an industrial site, played a key role in Tasmania’s story,” Professor Black said.

“We are keenly aware of our responsibility as we build the next chapter at Inveresk, creating a place that respects the city’s history and the history of Tasmania’s first people and supports a vibrant future.

“The designs of the River’s Edge and Willis Street buildings engage with the heritage of the site and create unique, vital learning, research and gathering spaces for the university and the community.”

Internationally renowned John Wardle Architects are the principal consultants and have led the design work for the University of Tasmania’s Launceston campus.

For more information, visit https://www.utas.edu.au/northern-transformation/inveresk-campus.

Media Contact:

Minister Tudge – Michael Bennett 0434 782 923

Minister Tehan – Ministerial Office (02) 6277 7350

Minister Ferguson – Carly Dolan 0437 925 010

Ms Archer – Electorate Office (03) 6334 7033