A NEW landmark building in Southampton has been handed over.

Southampton Solent University has been handed the keys to its new £33 million campus building, The Spark.

Designed by Scott Brownrigg and constructed by Interserve, the new building in East Park Terrace provides 40 new learning spaces with specially designed audio-visual and teaching technology.

The Spark’s 60-metre central atrium and dramatic elevated pod has already caught the imagination of building and education sectors, as well as passers-by.

Designed and built by CIG Architecture in the Netherlands, the red pod hosts a lecture theatre with an open-topped viewing platform with fantastic views.

Steve Carter, the university’s chief financial and operating officer, was handed the keys by Cliff Kinch, regional construction manager at Interserve.

Mr Carter said: “The handover of the building represents a huge step forward in the provision of modern learning and teaching for us as a university.

“This investment confirms our commitment to enhancing the student experience at Solent and making it one of the best on offer.”

Businesses and community groups will be able to hire the “pod” and atrium for events and The Spark also features two large flexible suites, a bookable business centre and a new VIP dining area.

The first events to be held in the new building include a selection of the university’s annual degree shows this June.

There will also be an open day for potential new students and graduation activities being staged next month.

Students will be using the new building from start of the 2016 academic year, this September.

The Spark is part of a £100 million campus development plan, due for completion in 2020, which will include a new sports centre.