Pozzoni Preston Maths College
The fourth storey will be stepped back from the London Road elevation. Credit: via planning documents

Green light for Preston maths college

Neil Tague

Planning permission has been secured for a sixth form facility, to be known as the Lancaster University School of Mathematics, on the site of the Barry House office block.

The Rigby Education Trust is the developer for the scheme, with designs by Pozzoni Architecture.

Consent had been secured by a prior application for the 1970s-built Barry House’s removal, and Preston City Council’s planning committee has now unanimously approved the construction of a four-storey Further Education building.

The site sits to the east of London Road and to the north side of Primrose Hill, just outside the city centre.

The intention is that the college will accommodate up to 260 pupils across two year groups. The facility will be known as the Lancaster University School of Mathematics and will be run by a new academy trust, Rigby Education Trust, which has been formed by a collaboration between Lancaster University and Cardinal Newman College, with the project financed by the Department for Education.

Proposals are for a part three-, part four-storey building with the fourth floor of the building recessed away from London Road by a roof terrace. The building is to be finished in a mixture of black and brown brickwork, glazing and PPC metal cladding in a bronze-type colour range.

As a specialist teaching facility, the curriculum is focussed entirely on maths, the sciences and computing. These functions are stacked within a teaching wing on the north side of the building, for clear wayfinding and easy travel between classes, with a large auditorium on the south side. The auditorium has capacity for up to 400 on retractable bleacher seating.

The development of the facility adds to a cluster of new build education projects in and around central Preston, with the University of Central Lancashire’s new £60m student centre reaching completion in July.

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Another uncontested project for Newman approved. How much more will be permitted, in an already densely populated residential area? with very limited parking and undoubtedly increased traffic. There comes a time where limitations to their growth need to be introduced as education cannot always be at the expense of motorists and residents. Shocking but not surprising decision ….

By Tim Lloyd