PROPOSALS to create a university campus in Barrow have been granted full planning permission.
The University of Cumbria campus is central to the creation of the Barrow Learning Quarter (BLQ), part of the #BrilliantBarrow Town Deal. The BLQ aims to transform access to further and higher education and opportunities for those in the town and surrounding areas, now and in the future.
The campus contributes to the university’s long-term strategic plans to help address sector and regional skills needs. It will deliver, initially, programmes aligned to areas including Advanced Manufacturing, Computing (including cyber security), and Supply Chain and Logistics.
A university of, for and from Cumbria and its localities, the university is also expanding its academic provision, establishing an Institute of Engineering, Computing and Advanced Manufacturing (IECAM). Professors Jill and Paul Stewart took up their new roles heading up the Institute last month – Jill as IECAM Director and Paul as its founding Professor of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing.
The University of Cumbria’s design partners, working with Barrow Borough Council planning officers, have resolved issues relating to drainage, car parking and accessibility after town planners granted support in principle for the scheme last October.
With written confirmation that full planning consent, with conditions, has been granted, enabling works have begun which will pave the way for construction of the new campus building. Technical design work is ongoing.
Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said: “Building upon the academic programmes we already provide to many in and around Barrow, we and our partners including BAE Systems, Barrow Borough Council and Furness College are committed to realising our shared ambition of enhancing education opportunities across the area. The awarding of full planning permission is a significant milestone towards achieving our goals.
“A new university campus and the wider Barrow Learning Quarter will contribute to future growth and prosperity, driving our mission to transform lives and livelihoods in our communities. The campus will have innovative, inclusive facilities and provision, offering progression routes and pathways for young people and those who want to follow their passion and make a difference to others.”
The campus is designed by DAY Architectural Ltd and developed in collaboration with BAE Systems. It will be sited next to the Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge at BAE Systems, and it will be part-funded by a significant grant from the Government’s Town Deal initiative.
Described as a ‘once-in-a-generation' opportunity, the BLQ also includes a Skills Hub at Furness College’s Rating Lane site.
Main construction work on the university campus is set to begin later this year, with completion forecasted in autumn 2024.