Willmott Dixon Interiors has begun work on a £200,000 project to deliver a new suite within the state-of-the-art Innovation Studio at Arts University Bournemouth (AUB).

The national fit-out and refurbishment specialist contractor will refurbish an existing administrative space at AUB to create a c.3,000 sq ft Innovation Suite that will include a new reception area to the art incubation facility studio.

The Innovation Suite will deliver collaborative work and social space for local businesses, start-ups, CPD delivery and post graduate students working in the innovative creative, cultural, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

It will also house specialist digital and clean digital fabrication equipment supplied by the university’s Innovation Resources project.

Willmott Dixon Interiors will create a new collaborative reception space and workshop rooms at the Innovation Suite, including AV, body scanner, 3D printing and textiles facilities.

The project will see the installation of new mechanical and electrical services and the refurbishment of existing seating areas. Works will include new floor finishes and decoration, as well as new furniture and a timber feature wall.

The Innovation Suite project will use £230,000 in Dorset LEP Local Growth Fund allocation and £65,000 in AUB match funding, and was awarded through the Pagabo Refit and Refurbishment procurement framework.

It has been designed by architects at Willmott Dixon Interiors, with Selway Joyce as project manager, quantity surveyor and employer’s agent.

Graham Shaw, managing director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “AUB has justifiably developed a reputation as a top sector specialist and leading arts university for the creative industries. A new Innovation Suite will enhance the already impressive facilities available through the Innovation Studio. We look forward to delivering a space that supports local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs and further contributes to the successful growth of the digital and creative sectors in the region.”

First established in 1885 as a specialist art institution, AUB is now the UK’s number one specialist university for employability, according to The Times Higher Education’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and is ranked as the UK’s top specialist art and design university by The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.

Willmott Dixon Interiors is one of the UK’s specialist high-quality interior fit out and refurbishment contractors. It has delivered a wide range of projects across the higher and further education sectors, including a £39 million refurbishment at London South Bank University’s London Road Building and the design and refurbishment of space across the Waterlooville Campus at Havant & South Downs College.