Monthly Archives

February 2016

Strengthening community links

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The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has unveiled plans to further strengthen its links with the local community.

It’s a move that has been welcomed by Portergate as its £18 million Friargate student accommodation vision continues to take shape on the city skyline.

The university has revealed plans to open a city centre shop providing a weekly menu of services and activities for the general public.

‘In the City’ is the name of the new shop on Lune Street which was previously the Britannia Building Society.

It set to open by the end of March, hosting both UCLan-led and community group activities such as exhibitions, health and wellbeing services, business and legal advice workshops and science clubs.

The shop’s activities will be published online in advance on a weekly basis with people being encouraged to send in their own proposals for possible events.

UCLan Head of Communications and Engagement Dr Jo Heaton-Marriott is working on the initiative. She told the university’s website: “UCLan is committed to developing strong links and partnerships with the local community.

“And our ‘In the City’ shop will be a melting pot for new ideas and initiatives which can really drive our city forward.

“The new facility will be open-access and most sessions will be run free of charge useful source.” Suggestions so far include first aid workshops provided by the UCLan School of Nursing, a Saturday morning children’s science club run by the UCLan and Royal Institution Young Scientist Centre and live literature projects, such as storytelling and creative writing events.

People can also call in to find out more about UCLan courses and take part in drop- in taster sessions.

Anyone wanting to know more about the initiative or propose a workshop idea can contact the In the City shop team at

Meanwhile, Portergate’s stylish development is moving towards a much anticipated opening later this year.

The 1.5 acre Friargate site is being transformed with three new retail premises and the creation of a 244 bedroomed building aimed at providing Portergate’s brand of hotel-style accommodation to students at UCLan.

The regeneration project sits on the edge of the city’s thriving University Quarter.

Part of the high-quality accommodation that it will offer is also aimed at post graduate students at the university and apprentices and key workers in Preston’s high-tech manufacturing sector and new Enterprise Zone.

Salford is on the rise

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Almost 5,500 new undergraduates began their degree courses at Salford in September 2015, according to the new figures highlighted by the university.

And that makes it officially one of the fastest growing Higher Education destinations in the UK.

The team at Riverside House welcomes both this news and the announcement of a new “prominent iconic gateway” to its main campus that has been revealed this month.

Both highlight Salford’s growing national and international reputation. Many of our latest arrivals here at Riverside are among its new cohort of undergraduates.

And they’ve chosen us as their home because of our boutique hotel-style accommodation, friendly welcome and support, security and the fact we’re just minutes away from campus.

The University of Salford says its real-world focus and academic strength, plus its green campus-city location, made it the 17th fastest-growing for First Year undergraduates this year.

Figures for 2013 -2015 from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) recorded a rise from 4,410 entrants to 5,445 – a 23% rise in student recruitment.

By comparison, in the North West of England, only Liverpool with a 31% rise to 5,610 undergraduates is growing more quickly.

Overall, Salford was the 31st largest recruiter in UK Higher Education, taking its largest cohort of undergraduates for a decade, according to university chiefs.

The plans submitted for the new gateway to the main campus involve extending its Newton Building.

The proposed west-facing extension, known as the Engineering Showcase, would feature exhibition space to display engineering work conducted in the Newton Building.

There would also be research and demonstration space, open-plan collaborative learning space, informal and formal presentation space, a café and break-out space.

The Newton Building, named after Sir Isaac Newton, occupies a high-profile corner location on the Peel Campus and is home to the School of Computing, Science and Engineering.

A design and access statement supporting the application has been prepared by Manchester-based DAY Architectural. A decision on the proposed scheme is expected by local planning chiefs in April 2016.

The statement says: “There is a real opportunity within this scheme to open up and sell the university through the architecture.

“Combining the concepts of Newton’s third law and the revealing of internal function creates a strong architectural concept that has grounding in both context and function.”

Riverside House has also set its own high design standards. Opened in 2013 it offers Boutique Hotel Class Student Accommodation.

Set in its own landscaped gardens on the river bank, Riverside is within walking distance to the University of Salford campus, Manchester city centre and Salford Central train station. The vibrant cafes and bars on Deansgate are also within a 15 minute walk or a short bus journey.

Each luxury apartment includes a fully furnished living space and fitted kitchen complete with appliances, utensils and crockery. Bedrooms are also fully furnished and include bedding and towels. Everything you need to start out in student life is provided.

We pride ourselves on our “hands on” management style and all members of the team are happy to help in any way they can.

Riverside House is safe and secure, with student welfare catered for. Gates, security lighting, perimeter fencing and CCTV help our staff manage 24 hour security. We have a day time accommodation manager, concierge, on-site maintenance, accommodation supervisor, facilities manager and 24 hour security. For personal security, all rooms are accessed by swipe card.

Prices start from £120 with no hidden extras. 30 Mbps internet and Wi-Fi, TV licence and utility bills all included. A show flat available to view at all times.

Portergate welcomes £6.5m international deals for UCLan

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Luxury student accommodation provider Portergate has welcomed a milestone agreement between the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Middle East.

UCLan has signed two international agreements worth a combined £6.5 million to deliver courses in the Middle East.

The first of these contracts will see UCLan extend its long-term partnership with the International College of Engineering and Management (ICEM) in the Sultanate of Oman for a further five years.

The milestone agreement means students will be able to complete their undergraduate degree courses in Oman, while the Preston-based university will strengthen its ties to an important region.

Portergate, whose £18 million Friargate Court student residence is on course to open in September this year in Preston’s University Quarter, has strong links with the Middle East through its first hotel-class residence, Riverside House in Salford.

Karen Preece, managing director of Portergate, says their high standards of accommodation and first class 24/7 management means Portergate has always been popular with students and their families from Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

“We always welcome greater international links for our universities since many of our residents come from overseas.

“From the enquiries we receive and the number of students who book accommodation with us, it’s clear they value the standard of accommodation, our facilities and our hands-on management that keep students informed, safe and happy.

“In Preston, we are looking forward to opening in September as construction of the 244-room residence, to be called Friargate Court, is progressing very well indeed.

“We are also already receiving a lot of enquiries for the September intake so word about Friargate Court and what we will be offering Preston’s students is already spreading.”

UCLan-approved courses in Oman are focused on providing a truly world-class higher education learning environment based on practical vocational teaching with a strong bias towards producing graduates who are ‘employer ready’, well rounded and internationally experienced.

The programmes will generate graduates who are highly trained and highly employable, both vocationally and academically, ready to apply their skills to national and global challenges.

Pro Chancellor and Chair of the University Board David Taylor, who led the visits to Qatar and Oman to agree the deals, said: “The extension of our partnership is a real milestone and evidence of its past success, while the new relationship with Qatar will complement this and the University’s other global partnerships, such as those in China and Mauritius.

“What’s more these initiatives will result in enormous benefits for students. For instance, they’ll have access to world-class facilities, they’ll be taught by academic staff with wide ranging industrial experience and they’ll benefit from collaborative research which will feed into the teaching curriculum.

“The programmes will generate graduates who are highly trained and highly employable, both vocationally and academically, ready to apply their skills to national and global challenges.”