UCLan targets start on site this year for £30m innovation centre

Preston City Council has approved the University of Central Lancashire’s plans for a £30m Engineering Innovation Centre, the first building in the university’s £200m campus regeneration programme.

Located in Preston city centre, the EIC will be an integrated facility for teaching, research and knowledge exchange, bringing together expertise from within academia and industry.

Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, said: “The approval for work to begin is an important moment for the University and the future redevelopment of Preston. A true flagship development for the city, the EIC will be a powerful hub for developing and nurturing talent that will help the UK retain its place as a leader in engineering and innovation.

“We’ve worked, and will continue to work, in consultation with local stakeholders on transformational plans which will create a world-class campus and a legacy that befits everyone – students, businesses and members of the local community.”

The EIC, which is the first major project in UCLan’s £200m campus masterplan, has been identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan and has secured £10.5m via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s growth deal with the government.

It received a further £5m cash injection from Higher Education Funding Council for England, which will go towards equipping the facility with advanced technology and specialist equipment. An application for European Regional Development Fund capital fund has also been made to support industry engagement.

Construction is planned to begin later this year.

SimpsonHaugh & Partners is leading on the design in collaboration with Reiach & Hall Architects. BDP, has been appointed to provide engineering expertise.

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