UCLan's expansion into Burnley takes key step forward through acquisition of Newton Mill

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) plans for Burnley to become a major hub of higher education have taken a key step forward.

By Aimee Seddon
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 3:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 3:51 pm

In collaboration with Burnley Council, the vacant Newtown Mill, on the edge of the town centre, has been purchased thanks to funding from the Government’s Levelling Up programme.

The deal will enable UCLan and the Council to progress redevelopment plans to further develop the thriving canalside campus in the historic Weavers’ Triangle area.

It follows the expansion of UCLan into the nearby Sandygate Mill last year, accommodating a new campus library and Students’ Union space.

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Architect's impressions of how the refurbished Newtown Mil, Burnley, mill will look from the back.

The acquisition and redevelopment of the former Newtown Mill in Queen’s Lancashire Way will create around 35,000 sq ft of space to accommodate innovative teaching facilities and a business/enterprise zone, as well as creating new public spaces together with public realm improvements to Sandygate.

The site will provide a state-of-the-art teaching building with inspirational heritage features, high-quality teaching rooms, student social space and a business and public engagement area.

UCLan’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin, said: “This is another pivotal and exciting development in our ongoing plans to raise young people’s aspirations in the area, respond to local employers’ skills needs and support the regeneration of Burnley.

“We are grateful for the support from the Levelling Up Fund and the backing from keypartners including Burnley Council, Antony Higginbotham MP and Burnley Bondholders.

Architect's impressions of how the refurbished Newtown Mil, Burnley, mill will look from the front.

“Together with Sandygate Halls, our first student halls of residence, Burnley is rapidly establishing itself as an attractive canalside campus. It will mark another key milestone in the drive to transform Burnley into a university town and part of UCLan’s ambitious plans to increase student numbers to 4,000.

“We continue to grow our course portfolio to meet the existing and emerging skills’ needs of Burnley and East Lancashire, developing the next generation of key workers in areas such as medicine, health, nursing, policing and social work.

“In addition, Newtown Mill aims to build on our employer engagement strategy so local companies benefit from degree apprenticeship courses in areas such as digital, cyber, engineering and management as well as access to research expertise and business support programmes to improve business competitiveness and innovation.”

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The scheme will be delivered through the Council’s Joint Venture (JV) with Barnfield, and Day Architecture has been appointed to draw up plans for the building and a planning application will be submitted next month.

Burnley Council secured Levelling Up investment of £19.9million to bring forward this scheme and other key projects, including significant environmental improvements to the area between Turf Moor and the town centre, and further upgrades to Manchester Road railway station.