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From drawing board to reality

11 September 2015

Press Office

First phase of University’s new campus vision underway

The scaffolding has been erected and the bulldozers have moved in as work on the first phase of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) £200 million Campus Masterplan project begins in earnest.

UCLan’s vision over the next 10 years is to create a unified, sustainable and welcoming campus which will enhance the experience for all those living in the City or visiting the University.

The first major project of the ten-year vision is the demolition of the Fylde Building which is being pulled down to eventually make way for a new multi-million pound student support facility, forming part of a new gateway to the University.

The exciting scheme will include a remodelled Adelphi roundabout with the construction of a new public square, drawing together the University with the City like never before. The long term vision is to spark a major focus on regeneration and business investment in the University quarter with wider benefits for Preston and beyond.

“This is probably the biggest investment Preston has seen and it will transform the City and the University campus.”

Preston-based Bradley Demolition is carrying out the deconstruction of the Fylde Building, with the majority of the materials being recycled.

UCLan Honorary Fellow Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines, widow of Sir George Grenfell-Baines, who founded international architecture practice BDP Architects in Preston, was given a tour of the demolition site alongside members of the board and key personnel from UCLan.

David Taylor, Chair of the Board, said: “It’s incredible how 12 months ago this hadn’t been talked about and yet 12 months on, work is well underway on demolishing this building. The Campus Masterplan is going to be fantastic, not only for the University but for the City too. Now we’re looking ahead to the next major stage of the project, the construction of the £30 million plus Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) which is due to begin in early 2016.”

Professor Mike Thomas, UCLan’s Interim Vice-Chancellor, added: “I’m really excited to see the beginning of the future of the University. The links between ourselves, the City and the region are really coming together. Over the next few years we’re going to see regeneration which builds on us being a part of the City and it’s a testament to the staff and their dedication that we can have the ambition, and support of the Board, to move forward with it.”

“This is the most ambitious plan the University has ever undertaken in its long history and it’s one which is very exciting.”

Michael Ahern, Chief Operating Officer at UCLan, said: “This is probably the biggest investment Preston has seen and it will transform the City and the University campus. It’s designed to be accessible and usable by both the University and local people, and the design has been created in consultation with community groups. It’s a true collaboration between the City and the University.”

Lady Milena Grenfell-Baines added: “I think UCLan’s Masterplan is amazing and I’m thrilled that BDP Architects is involved. Preston is finally starting to look like a city and these developments will make a tremendous difference that will benefit everyone – not just students but those people living and working in Preston too.”

TV journalist and UCLan Board Member Fiona Armstrong said: “This is the most ambitious plan the University has ever undertaken in its long history and it’s one which is very exciting. I grew up in this City and remember this building as the labour exchange where people queued up to collect their dole money. Now it’s come full circle and this symbolises academic potential and people gaining great careers from an amazing seat of learning. It’s further regeneration for the City and that is a great thing.”

Josie Linsel, President of the UCLan Students’ Union, said: “It’s an unbelievable scheme and there’s lots of excitement from students. Even though the Masterplan may not benefit those of us currently studying, it feels great to be part of something that’s going to be so big for Preston. Any students with questions can feed back to me and I’ll be ensuring their voices are heard.”