UK-based property developer George Downing Construction (GDC) has broken ground on a £80m project to construct the Creative Arts Building at Leeds Beckett University in West Yorkshire.

Designed by architect Hawkins\Brown, the new building will be delivered by Downing.

The facility will house the university’s School of Film, Music and Performing Arts and the fashion department.

In addition, the building will feature a performance theatre, a 220-seat Dolby Atmos cinema and specialist studios for fashion, music, film and television.

GDC director Ian Orton said: “This is an exciting scheme, which will form a new home for creative education at Leeds Beckett and we’re delighted to be starting on site.

“The building is the first project in a £200m investment programme at Leeds Beckett over the next five years.”

“This landmark building will include a number of outstanding technical features and facilities, creating a world-class learning environment at the heart of the campus.”

Centred at Leeds’ Civic Quarter, the Creative Arts building is sited on Portland way, opposite to the university’s Business School, Rose Bowl.

The new building is a partnership between Leeds Beckett University, the University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds City Council.

A range of workspaces and development opportunities will be provided by the project. It aims to attract new research facilities and drive economic development and regeneration.

Leeds Beckett University vice-chancellor professor Peter Slee said: “Our £80m investment in world-leading facilities in film, television, music, fashion, dance, drama and performance, will further enhance our positive social, cultural and economic impact.”

Due to be complete by September 2020, the building is the first project in a £200m investment programme at Leeds Beckett over the next five years.