WORK has started on a multi-million pound development of part of Edge Hill College of Higher Education’s Ormskirk campus.

The project, known as the Western Campus Development, represents a major investment in the institution’s facilities and will take several years to complete.

One of the main features of the scheme will be a large lake, situated behind the existing Learning Innovation Centre and Business Management Centre.

Dr John Hindley, Project Co-ordinator, said: “The aim of the Western Campus Development is to improve educational facilities with a range of high-quality buildings within an attractively landscaped area. The landscaping, and in particular the lake, have been designed to encourage and protect local wildlife and biodiversity.”

The lake, covering an area of around 3,000 square metres, will hold about four million litres of water. A reed bed and rocky stream crossed by a bridge will be incorporated into the design.

The lake is part of what is called a sustainable urban drainage system, designed to take excess surface water away from the rest of the site.

Beside the lake will be a continental-style piazza with a formal water feature. This area will provide a meeting point for people using the surrounding buildings, including the Learning Resource Centre, Learning Innovation Centre, Business Management Centre and the new Creative Media Building, which is currently under construction.

Dr Hindley said: “We hope the piazza will be an area with a cosmopolitan atmosphere where people can relax and enjoy themselves.”

Edge Hill’s Estates Department is working closely with local residents whose homes are adjacent to the development site to ensure appropriate screening is included in the landscaping scheme.