Graham Construction to deliver new commercial hub for U+I in Brighton


Specialist regeneration and property developer, U+I has appointed GRAHAM Construction to deliver a new commercial hub for start-up and SME businesses as part of its Preston Barracks redevelopment in Brighton.

Construction of the 50,000 sq ft building will mark the first phase of works on the overall Preston Barracks project, a significant mixed-use regeneration scheme that will radically transform this part of Brighton. The £200 million project has been designed by award-winning architects, Studio Egret and tp bennett, and will include 369 new homes, 534 student beds, shops, cafes and workshops. The wider masterplan which encompasses two of the University of Brighton sites will provide further student accommodation and academic facilities. It is estimated the whole masterplan will deliver over 1,500 new jobs and bring £281 million into Brighton & Hove’s economy over the next ten years.

GRAHAM Construction will build the seven-storey concrete-framed workspace building, which will target a BREEAM Excellent rating. Geared towards small businesses and start-ups, the building will provide a variety of flexible workspaces, as well as prototyping facilities, events spaces and a landscaped roof garden. It is expected to complete by the end of 2019. The building will be part-funded by Coast to Capital a Local Enterprise Partnership.

Sarah Chitty, Senior Development Manager at U+I said:

“We are excited to be underway with the construction of Preston Barracks, delivering a project that will breathe new life into a derelict site, and will support the economy, academic life and growth of Brighton. We’re proud to be working with GRAHAM on the first phase of the project. Their commitment to supporting local communities and economies is closely aligned to our own vision to create long lasting benefits for the places in which we work. This building will provide much needed flexible office space for growing businesses and start-ups that will ultimately boost the business economy of the city.” 

Rob Joyce, Development Director at GRAHAM Construction, said:

“Our main objective is to create a high-quality commercial building that will attract enterprising, high-growth companies to the area. We will work closely with U+I and the project team to ensure that it provides a range of functioning spaces that are tailored to the needs of the individuals using it, while fostering entrepreneurship and excellence in innovation.”

The full project team for the Central Research Laboratory includes:

  • Architect/Interior Designer/Landscape architect – Studio Egret West
  • Structural & Civils Engineer – HOP (Hemsley Orrell Partnership)
  • Services and BREEAM Engineer – Scotch Partners LLP
  • Project Manager/Employer’s Agent – Marick PS Limited
  • Quantity Surveyor – Robinson Low Francis LLP
  • Principal Designer – Faithful+Gould
  • Planning Consultant – NTR Planning
  • Acoustic Engineer – Adnitt Acoustics
  • Lighting Designers- Kate & Sam
  • Fire Engineering – BuroHappold Engineering
  • Building Control – AIS (Approved Inspector Services Limited)
  • Highways Consultant – Peter Brett Associates
  • Solicitor – Clyde & Co
  • Operator – Central Research Laboratory



For further information please contact:

Lisa Northcott, Holistic

Tel: 07885 980 154


Honor Hughes, Holistic 

Tel: 07921 477 552

Notes to Editors:

About GRAHAM Construction

GRAHAM is a privately owned company operating in the construction, asset management and project investment sectors. With a proud heritage where traditional skills and values are fused with professional management, the company has grown to have a turnover in excess of £565 million and employs more than 2,200 people in total.

GRAHAM Construction is a leading player in all areas of construction and civil engineering throughout the UK and Ireland and operates from a network of regional offices.

In October 2017, GRAHAM Construction was listed at number 16 in the prestigious Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, which ranks Britain’s mid-market growth private companies with the biggest sales.

It is currently Building magazines’ Major Contractor of the Year and has also been awarded the Investors in People (IIP) Platinum standard, recognising the company’s commitment to forward looking, cutting edge people policies and practices and placing GRAHAM in the top 7% of recognised IIP organisations across the UK.

For more information visit the website:


About U+I

U+I is a specialist regeneration developer and investor.

With a £7bn portfolio of complex, mixed-use, community-focused regeneration projects including a £140m investment portfolio, we are unlocking urban sites bristling with potential in the London, Manchester and Dublin city regions. We exist to create long-term socioeconomic benefit for the communities in which we work, delivering sustainable returns to our shareholders.

To find out more, visit or follow us @uandiplc