�50million university plan unveiled

THE second phase of development at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) got underway yesterday when “exciting” new plans were unveiled.

Lizzie Parry

THE second phase of development at University Campus Suffolk (UCS) got underway yesterday when “exciting” new plans were unveiled.

The next stage of the university's expansion will include two student halls of residence and an academic building, located 300 metres south of the flagship building, which will be completed in the next three to five years.

New academic facilities at University Quay will be constructed in phases with the first stage due to open in September 2010.

You may also want to watch:

It will provide state-of-the-art accommodation for the Faculty of Health, Wellbeing and Science with innovative laboratories and Student Union facilities.

The six storey building will face the quayside and cover 15,000 square metres costing around �50 million to complete.

Most Read

Professor Bob Anderson, pro-vice chancellor and chief executive officer at UCS, hailed the new plans as “critical” for the future of the university.

He welcomed the addition of student accommodation on the site and said it would encourage more students from Suffolk and further afield to study at UCS.

“We are looking forward to the next phase, it is very important and critical in our development for two reasons,” he said. “Firstly it enables us to provide on-campus student accommodation which is critical to the university experience people want.

“Secondly we need to provide state-of-the-art facilities for our courses because at the moment they are not in very good condition.”

Prof Anderson predicted a boost in the number of people applying to study at UCS as facilities improve and expand on the site.

“Student accommodation will bring two things to UCS,” he added. “It will encourage more people in Suffolk and within the region to study here. And it will also encourage more students from outside the county too.

“We have had tremendous feedback about our location; people see it as an excellent place to come.

“I think we will grow. It is interesting that in times like this more people decide to go to university to stay out of the job market and we have seen an increase over and above that here at UCS.”

The first block of student accommodation will house 600 people as well as an underground car park with 100 spaces and retail units.

Future plans will also include a new learning resources centre, an exhibition area and various teaching and administration areas.

Neil Jackson, director of estates and facilities at UCS, said the final part of the new academic building is still up for debate with the possibility to accommodate new courses.

“We are constantly reviewing the courses on offer,” he said. “As we move forward there are lots of opportunities.”

Prof Anderson added: “For module three there will be facilities for courses we do not currently run.”

Despite the current economic climate UCS is confident the money required to fund the venture is secure and the project will go-ahead on schedule.

Prof Anderson said: “All stake holders have a firm knowledge that this is a very important investment project for the East of England and it is important it goes ahead. Our funders are firm in their support for us.

“We are not seeking money from private sources. It is funded through the public sector which is being encouraged by the Government to spend money at the moment.”

James Hehir, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity, there are now no excuses left, you can do all you want in education in this area, everything is available to people.”

Peter Williams, project director at the architect firm RMJM, said: “After the immense success of the Waterfront building at UCS we are delighted to have unveiled our approved plans for the future growth of UCS.

“Phase one revealed the future shape of student life in Ipswich. We are confident that the buildings designed for University Quays and earmarked for refurbishment at Campus North will raise the bar even further.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus