New Lancaster University building

University of Cumbria announces £100m campus plans

Wide-ranging proposals for new campuses in Lancaster, Barrow in Furness, Newton Rigg, Ambleside and Carlisle have been unveiled by the fledgling university.

Prof Christopher J Carr, Vice Chancellor of the University, which began life last August, said: "The University of Cumbria is now established in name however we must begin the journey from being a collection of legacy institutions to a respected and high-performing county university with national and international reach.

"The student experience is paramount and we want to ensure that any developments and investment we make meet the needs of our current and future students. These plans are at a very early stage in development and a lot of work still needs to be done."

The plans could cost more than £100m to deliver and cover aspects from student accommodation and leisure space to teaching facilities.

The proposals, at the consultation stage, include:

Carlisle; a new campus on the Caldew Riverside next to the main railway station ready for 2010; one of the key city centre sites earmarked for regeneration as part of Carlisle Renaissance. Housing the new headquarters and including the majority of the university's academic activity for Carlisle. New vibrant Students' Union facility, access to the Milbourne Street library and resources building via a new footbridge and a 'Riverside walk' leading to playing fields, parks and Devonshire Walk car parking.

Barrow in Furness; new premises for Computing, Social Work and Social Care centre, as well as existing Nursing provision. Current buildings in Channelside will be replaced by a four storey building which will wrap around new facilities in Engineering and Construction. Delivered in collaboration with Furness College.

Lancaster; work is underway on a new support centre, pictured, for staff and students, including the main catering outlet with two dining areas on the top floor and a "grab-&-go"/café area on the ground floor. A feasbility study is looking at the possible relocation of Scope's Beaumont College for disabled students onto this campus.

Newton Rigg; a purpose-designed campus servicing the land-based, specialist sports and outdoor studies curriculum. Proposals include conference facilities and accommodation, improved research facilities, a new Students' Union building and increased academic provision for some areas of curriculum.

Ambleside; main campus to be developed for Post Graduate and specialist provision. Develop "excellent conference facilities building on the outstanding geographic location", along with student and delegate residential accommodation. Sell Kelsick, Hill Top and off-campus halls of residence from 2015 for residential or leisure.

The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin's College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire and was opened by James Purnell MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on 1 August.

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