More positive news surrounds the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and its vision to create a new £50million campus gateway in the heart of its home city of Preston.
The university has now announced that it is including the good people of Preston in the process of selecting the architect that will design the development. And the team here at Portergate and Friargate Court can’t wait to see what their input brings.
Feedback from the community will help inform the decision on how a new civic square and student support centre, part of UCLan’s ambitious £200 million masterplan, could look.
The whole process is also being carried out in conjunction with the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Earlier this year, RIBA ran an international competition which asked architectural practices “to submit designs which would deliver an excellent student experience and create a world-class campus”.
There’s now a seven strong shortlist of designs and, as the university’s website has revealed, they will go on display at St George’s Shopping Centre on August 8-10, and UCLan’s Foster Building on Fylde Road on August 11-12.
The university says that members of the public can have their say on the proposed designs, either at the events or online, before final judging takes place later in August.
In a statement the university said: “These events are a great opportunity for local people to find out exactly what is being proposed and help inform the final decision. The whole community can reap the benefits of this multi-million pound investment.”
UCLan Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mike Thomas, told the website: “The standard of the shortlisted entries is very high and we’re now looking to members of the public to ensure these designs reflect what’s important to them.”
Details of the plan are emerging and they are impressive. Combined, the new student support centre and civic square will be the same size as London’s Trafalgar Square!
The shortlisted designs can also be viewed online at www.ribacompetitions.com/uclan where members of the public can share their views using the online form.
These are certainly exciting times for Preston. The countdown is on to the opening of our stylish new £18 million Friargate Court accommodation in the city’s University Quarter.
It will open its doors to welcome students from UCLan later this year. The 244-bedroom development, which is helping kick-start the regeneration of Friargate, is also aimed at employees in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and Lancashire’s new Enterprise Zone.
The Friargate development is part of Portergate’s ambitious North West expansion plans. It is currently under construction by the Preston-based Eric Wright group.
Portergate’s successful Riverside House student accommodation in Salford has been a major success story and welcomes students from across the globe.