The University of the West of Scotland has confirmed its intention to move into Hamilton International Technology Park (HITP) and create a brand new, state-of-the-art, modern university campus in High Blantyre.
The new EcoCampus locating to the current greenfield site in High Blantyre, means a move from their existing site (just over two miles away at Almada Street, Hamilton.) The new campsus which is to be constructed on land behind the Technology Park at Sydes Brae will offer state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities, student accommodation, Students’ Union, and specialist laboratory space.
It should see many, many jobs created for the Blantyre area and an immediate, adjacent further education facility for students from this area and beyond. Indeed the economic projection for this immediate local area as a result of this development is estimated to be as much as £25billion over the next 25 years.
It’s already being called, “The EcoCampus” and planning permission has already been approved in full last month. For assurance no access will be given to the campus from the rural area of Sydes Brae, with entrances being through the Technology Park itself.
The arrival of Blantyre’s very first University will mean a rethink about public transport with a bespoke green travel plan already being considered for public transport.
The decision taken by the UWS Court, at its meeting on 27 June 2016, to approve the full business case for the new site takes the University a step closer to moving into HITP. It will now look to secure financial arrangements to ensure the best value with the aim of delivering an outstanding campus for its students, staff and the wider community.
Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “Today’s decision is a major milestone in the development of an exciting new University campus for UWS, for Scotland and for Lanarkshire. In approving the full business case for EcoCampus, we’ve taken into account the economic and social benefit of this to Lanarkshire itself and the wider area. Most importantly, we are excited about the significant educational benefit this creates, as well as creating an improved environment for our students, staff and stakeholders. We will now move forward with creating one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly, dynamic and vibrant campuses. This will be game-changing for higher education in Scotland and provide us with a fantastic opportunity to develop our educational offering for students internationally, across the UK, Lanarkshire and the wider Central Belt.”
The University’s Lanarkshire development will also look at the creation of a bespoke green travel plan to encourage those attending and working at the University to use public transport options.
Professor Mahoney continued: “Our Lanarkshire Campus already makes a significant and positive impact on the local area, contributing £69.3million to the economy, including graduate premium, and supporting 711 jobs in South Lanarkshire.
“A report from BiGGAR Economics in 2015 states that the estimated additional economic benefit of the new Campus over the next 25 years could be as high as £1.9billion.
“Our aim is to build on that figure, doing more for the community than ever before. EcoCampus will give us a terrific platform from which to do that.”
Relocation to the new Campus, once final go-ahead is confirmed, is anticipated to start from September 2017.
Source: Uws.ac.uk website