Project update: UCLan's new £35m Engineering Innovation Centre nears completion

The Engineering Innovation Centre in Preston
The Engineering Innovation Centre in Preston
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What’s happening?

The finishing touches are being made to the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) new £35 million Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC).

According to university bosses, workmen are now “operationalising the building” by incorporating IT infrastructure and moving into place a huge range of engineering-related kit including flight simulators, manufacturing hardware and software and motorsports equipment.

Everything is set to be in place and ready for when students return for the new academic year in September.

What’s it for?

The EIC is expected to play a big part in producing locally-trained graduates in areas including aerospace, mechanical and energy technologies and engineering.

It is aimed at enhancing Lancashire’s position as one of the most innovative engineering and manufacturing regions in the UK, and it will also establish UCLan as one of the UK’s leading universities for engineering innovation by driving new discoveries and developments in emerging fields such as 3D printing, artificial intelligence, drone technology and The Internet of Things.

What do they say?

Michael Ahern, chief operating Officer at UCLan, said: “The EIC is a significant asset to the University but also the wider region and the UK.

“It really is a first-class facility that is brimming with new engineering and teaching technologies that will help create innovative engineers of the future while having a dual role in cultivating substantial educational and economic benefits.”

Who is funding it?

The EIC has secured £10.5 million via the Lancashire Enterprise Partnerships’ Growth Deal with the Government, £5.8 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £5 million from Higher Education Funding Council England’s STEM Capital Fund.