Agreement signed for UWS Hamilton campus plans

UWS Hamilton-International-Technology-ParkUniversity of the West of Scotland’s (UWS) plans to create a new state-of-the-art campus in Lanarkshire have taken a step forward with the formal contract signing now completed.

The University has agreed a partnership with South Lanarkshire Council to deliver the 38-acre ultra-modern campus at Hamilton International Technology Park (HITP), just two miles from the existing UWS site in Hamilton.

South Lanarkshire Council and UWS have agreed that once the campus has been relocated to HITP, the current Almada Street campus will be the focus of a large-scale regeneration project giving an opportunity to stimulate economic growth in the area.

For UWS the new campus presents the opportunity to create a truly 21st century learning environment with innovative teaching and learning facilities as well as specialist labs. The student experience will be central to the development with social spaces, high quality residential accommodation, top-end sports facilities and a students’ union.

The vision is that the new campus will be one of the UK’s ‘greenest’ educational environments, with carbon neutral buildings incorporating sustainability features such as 100 per cent renewable power.

Additionally, the campus will offer businesses better access to consultancy and research collaboration as more than 70 local, national and international companies - including Scottish Power, Babcock, HSBC, John Lewis and Centrica - are currently based at HITP; one of the UK’s most successful Enterprise Zones. With a proud record in applied research and consultancy work, with ratings for its research submissions ranked as world-leading and internationally excellent in the 2014 national research excellence framework (REF), University of the West of Scotland is keen to develop its new Lanarkshire base as a catalyst for research innovation and enterprise.

The UWS decision to remain in South Lanarkshire is estimated to be worth at least £443 million to the local economy over the next 25 years according to an independent report prepared for South Lanarkshire Council by EKOS. In addition to the 254 staff employed by UWS on the campus currently, at least 1180 full-time equivalent positions are supported out with the campus itself.

Professor Craig Mahoney, principal and vice-chancellor of UWS, said: “Our new campus marks a significant stage in the development of UWS and will be a major boost for Lanarkshire bringing exciting social and economic benefits, as well as creating the go-to study destination for students from across Scotland, the UK and further afield.

“We have plans to deliver some of the most innovative learning spaces in the UK and look forward to working with our partners to make this highly ambitious development a reality.”

Eddie McAvoy, South Lanarkshire Council leader, added: “This is a very important day for Hamilton and for South Lanarkshire. Having UWS commit to the town is a major achievement, and now that we have the details of their plans to create one of the UK’s greenest eco-campuses, the benefits of keeping the University here are clearer than ever.”

Construction work is due to begin in November this year with the first UWS students expected to move in by 2018.

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