WORK has started on a £30million university building which will become a Bournemouth landmark.

The Bournemouth Gateway Building is one of several developments which are changing the face of the St Paul’s and Lansdowne areas.

It will house teaching facilities for Bournemouth University’s faculty of health and social sciences, which is training midwives, paramedics and other health professionals to meet the growing staff shortage in the NHS.

The faculty building, of up to seven storeys, will stand alongside another development, a 14-storey building housing accommodation for 550 students.

A ground breaking ceremony was held by the university and Kier Construction, which is due to finish the project in the spring of 2020.

Trevor White, operations director for Kier Construction Southern, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this vitally important building for Bournemouth University. We will utilise our experience in the education and health sectors to provide first-class training facilities for the much sought-after midwives, social and health workers of tomorrow.”

Jim Andrews, chief operating officer at Bournemouth University, said: “This ground breaking represents the next exciting stage in the development of the university’s estate. This building will be an important development for the whole BU community, as well as housing our faculty of health and social sciences, and will include library, education, social collaborative learning space, lecture theatres and research facilities designed to develop the health professionals of the future and support our world leading research.”

Bournemouth University has been investing millions of pounds to improve facilities since 2012.

Global Student Accommodation has started work on the 14-storey block of student homes next to the Bournemouth Gateway building. It is also building another block of 403 bedrooms, Belaton House, on the former American Golf site at Holdenhurst Road.

Last year, Bournemouth council was awarded £8.5m of government grant to create a ’world class’ business district around the Lansdowne.

It aims to bring £200m of investment into the area and improve access from the railway station to the Lansdowne and St Swithun’s roundabouts.

Nine sites were being earmarked for offices, residential and student housing.

The council aims to make the Lansdowne area the primary business district in Dorset. The area has also been picked for the trial of a mapping tool for the rollout of 5G mobile phone coverage.