A new report has highlighted the important role that Preston’s University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is playing in the North West’s economic wellbeing.
The Regeneris Report comes as Portergate’s £18 million Friargate student accommodation vision continues to take shape on the city skyline as it moves towards a much anticipated opening later this year.
Portergate’s 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.
UCLan is described as a “financial powerhouse” in Lancashire and the wider North West region in the recently commissioned Regeneris Report.
According to Regeneris in 2013/14 UCLan contributed more than £200m to the North West economy.
It was also one of the largest employers in Preston and supported an estimated 4,300 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in the North West through its “core economic footprint and through the spending power of students”.
With 36,160 students it was the largest university in Lancashire and the third largest in the North West and the ninth largest undergraduate population of all UK universities.
Graduates add on average £24m to the North West economy per annum through increased skills and productivity.
The newly published figures highlight the major economic impact the Preston based University has not only in the city but across the whole of the North West region.
They also show that over the time period of the report UCLan directly employed 3,290 staff, making it one of the largest employers in Preston.
The university, which also has UK campuses in Burnley and Westlakes, is also described as “an important contributor” to the economy through its purchase of local goods and services, according to the report’s authors.
In 2013/14 it spent £15m on
suppliers based throughout Lancashire and the wider North West area.
There is more good news for the local economy as UCLan continues its development and growth.
It has recently completed the first part of its ambitious £200m masterplan to improve the connectivity between the campus and the city.