A huge £60m expansion is due to start imminently for the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. This will involve the development of a £32m student centre, and a £28m civic square. This new development will become a key part of UCLan’s presence in Preston, and will create a dramatic focal point for the University’s £250m masterplan development.

The £32m student centre will create 80,000 sq ft of education and amenity space, designed to be innovative and impressive, capturing the heart of the university itself. The student centre will include a reception area, learning spaces, and a student wellbeing support centre, all over four storeys.

The £28m civic square will create an iconic gateway between the University and Preston city centre, spanning 90,000 sq ft and providing flexible and adaptable spaces for a wide range of community, public, business and student uses.

As part of this development, and a wider programme of works, improvements to landscaping and the public realm in the Adelphi Quarter of the City will also be carried out.

Currently a £30m development is being completed, creating an Engineering Innovation Centre for the university. This includes specialist training spaces with cutting edge equipment such as flight simulators, a graphene centre, automotive research and manufacturing, as well as electronic labs.

Both the EIC and the proposed student cetnre along with the civic square will form part of UCLan’s plan to conduct a major overhaul of the university’s campus on Corporation Street, near Preston’s train station, ultimately transforming the landscape of Preston itself.

Speaking to Place North West, Michael Ahern, UCLan’s chief operating officer, said: “We’ve seen the completion of two major projects in the past year – our multi-faith centre Oasis and the student Social Spaces, with the Engineering Innovation Centre nearing completion and preparing to welcome students in September.

Planning permission for this development was granted in January, and the work is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020

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