Portergate welcomes more good news for Preston’s regeneration vision – the go-ahead has been given for work to start on The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) £30million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC).
Planners in Preston have granted the project planning permission as our £18m Friargate regeneration development continues to gather pace.
The EIC has been described by the university as “an integrated hub for teaching, research and knowledge exchange, bringing together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.”
And it is seen as playing an important part in Lancashire’s vision as a national centre for advanced manufacturing as well as boosting skills in the area and the number of females going into the engineering sector.
Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, told the university’s own wesbite: “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.”
UCLan says it aims to close the skills gap by inspiring and shaping the next generation of engineering leaders, producing an extra 500 locally trained graduates a year.”
It is also the first major milestone in UCLan’s £200m Campus Masterplan, which will play such a vital part in the regeneration of Preston and its city centre.
Having been given the green light, the university says it is now focusing on the delivery of the first phase of construction which is planned to get underway later in the year.
Meanwhile, the transformation of Portergate’s strategic 1.5 acre site on Friargate is also heading towards completion in the autumn.
It is delivering three new retail premises and will provide boutique hotel-style accommodation aimed at local students as well as employees in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and new Enterprise Zone.
The retail and apartment complex has been designed around open garden areas while being conveniently located in the heart of the city, only a short walk from UCLan and on the edge of the University Quarter.
Portergate, which already offers hotel-class student accommodation in Salford, has plans to roll its luxury accommodation concept out across the North West of England.