UCLan Masterplan


Harris building banner

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Following on from those humble beginnings, construction of the Harris Institute was established in 1882 ‘for the promotion of Art, Literature and the Advancement of Technical Education’. The evolution continued through the Harris Building which was completed in 1897. It remains the oldest building to house UCLan students on today’s campus.

The Harris College was established in 1956. Incorporating new courses and research, the college developed new management structures with new buildings and facilities established.

The college’s designation as Preston Polytechnic in 1973, Lancashire Polytechnic in 1984 and finally University of Central Lancashire in 1992 consolidated ambitions for higher education status and led to the construction of many new facilities including a Library, a Students’ Union and the Victoria Building for art and design courses.

Since those early days UCLan has grown into one of the UK’s largest universities with a staff and student community approaching 35,000 and an employment-focused course portfolio containing over 350 undergraduate programmes and nearly 250 postgraduate courses. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which grades academic research across the country, all 16 academic areas submitted by UCLan were officially recognised as demonstrating elements of world-leading research.

Harris Building

red horizontal rule

1849 map


Lancaster Canal runs through centre of Preston

Preston Station still modest in scale

Corporation Street does not exist

1913 map


Lancaster Canal drained south of campus

Preston Station expanded

Corporation Street appears

map today


Lancaster Canal drained along eastern campus edge (1960s)

Preston and Longridge Railway ceased operation (1967)

Preston Bus Station built (1968/69)

Ring Way built (early 1970s)