WORK on a £10.5million, six-storey university building has reached its highest point.

A topping-out ceremony was held for the student centre, which will provide extra space for learning and student support and a new home to the students’ union.

The university’s chancellor, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, said: “This building is going to be the centre of students’ extra-curricular activities. These are an essential part of the education in its widest sense that any good university should provide for its students.

“Education is not just about acquiring knowledge. It involves learning about oneself, developing as a caring person, and integrating responsibly in society. A building such as this provides the ideal environment for the activities and interrelationship that will result in students leaving this university educated in this wider sense.”

Vice-chancellor Professor John Vinney said: “We are committed to providing world-class facilities for our students and the Student Centre will provide just that. “It’s vital we continue to attract high-calibre students and staff for years to come in an increasingly competitive market. We want to provide world-class facilities for a world-class performance.”

He said the university contributed £378m a year to the regional economy.

“This will only be maintained and grow while students continue to choose to study at Bournemouth and investing in facilities such as this new Student Centre is central to this,” he added.

Neal Stephens, above, managing director of builder Willmott Dixon in the South West, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to carry out this project and it’s fantastic to see this outstanding structure reach its highest point.

“Willmott Dixon is already a major contributor to the local economy and we are delighted to be working on the biggest project in the area. We have established a great relationship with Bournemouth University and are fortunate that our client shares our environmental and sustainable approach.”

The university is preparing to submit a planning application for a new academic building at the heart of its Talbot Campus.