Green light for University of Glasgow’s £1bn campus masterplan

University of Glasgow masterplanThe University of Glasgow has secured planning approval for its £1 billion campus masterplan to develop the former Western Infirmary site.

The campus project, one of the biggest education developments in Scotland, will see an estimated investment of £1bn over 10 years – higher than the public investment in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The first phase of the development will see the construction of the several new buildings, together with clearance of the Western Infirmary Site and the new landscaping of the public realm.

The Learning and Teaching Hub set for the Gilmorehill Campus
The Learning and Teaching Hub set for the Gilmorehill Campus

Welcoming the decision by Glasgow City Council’s to approve planning permission in principle, the university said that the developments would transform the West End of the city, bringing significant community, economic, environmental and cultural benefits as well as the creation of 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs.

Vice-chancellor Anton Muscatelli said: “We are delighted that Glasgow City Council has endorsed our ambitious plan which we believe will be a major economic driver for the city and for Scotland as well as underpin this university’s world-leading position.

“The decision to approve the masterplan is pivotal to allowing us to start this development. An initial financial envelope of around £430m will be spent over the next five years on the first phase of the project. It is part of a wider £1bn investment which includes significant spend on refurbishing and improving the existing estate. This will be one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history and is certainly the biggest development undertaken by this university since it moved to Gilmorehill 150 years ago.”

University of Glasgow aerialThe first new buildings to go up will be:

  • a learning and teaching hub
  • a multidisciplinary research hub
  • an Institute of Health & Wellbeing
  • the Adam Smith Business School
  • a base for our College of Arts including new performance spaces.
  • The second phase, expected to start in 2023, will deliver:

    • new teaching and research space for engineering
    • an Innovation Quarter on Church Street promote new companies
    • a building for research into chronic diseases
    • the creation of a Social Justice Hub to lead research in the elimination of global inequalities
    • A number of conditions are attached to the planning application, with which the university is working towards complying. These conditions cover the replacement of trees, landscaping and the retail mix on the site.

      The first building will be the new learning and teaching hub, which will link into the existing Boyd Orr building on University Avenue. Planning permission for this was granted in December 2016. It will have a 500-seat raked lecture theatre, four flat-floored lecture theatres and 1,000-plus spaces for learning. In the longer term it should also provide conference facilities. Its construction requires the demolition of the Mathematics & Statistics building.

      The client project team includes Faithful+Gould as programme and project manager, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff as multi discipline engineering contractor and Sweet Group as quantity surveyor services provider, while global architecture firm HLM and HOK Architects have also secured contracts.

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