A CEREMONY today will kick-start work on an ambitious development on the northern outskirts of Southampton.

Work will begin on the ambitious Southampton City Gateway Project following the ceremony at the site in Parkville Road, Swaythling this morning.

When finished, the site will contain a 15- storey elliptical tower with two six-storey wings, which will house 364 student rooms for the University of Southampton.

It will also contain a medical centre, Lloyds pharmacy, four retail units and surface car parking on the ground floor.

The project is a joint project between developer Bouygues Development and its sister company Warings, which is responsible for the project’s design and construction.

Work is expected to be completed by next summer.

At today’s ceremony, speeches will be given by Bouygues Development’s regional director Axel Boutrolle, Warings’ commercial director Allan Gordon, Michael Pryer from Rockspring Property Investment Managers, which is forward-funding the project, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Professor Don Nutbeam.

Representatives from the medical centre will officially start the construction work by placing the first cement in the ground.