Archbishop gives building his blessing

University of Cumbria  Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell with Chancellor Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.
University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell with Chancellor Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.

The Archbishop of York described a Lancashire university as “beloved” on his latest visit to the county.

Dr John Semantu was in the region to officially bless the £9m teaching block at the University of Cumbria.

The leading cleric is chancellor of the Lancaster-based institution.

At a special ceremony to formally bless the university’s £9m Sentamu Building the archbishop spoke of his pride at serving as Chancellor throughout the university’s 10 year history and the special ‘DNA’ within an organisation he described as ‘beloved.’

The development features state of the art teaching rooms and the university’s biggest lecture theatre which have been in regular use since the official opening in September by Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Dr Semantu said: “ Our students live in an increasingly volatile and uncertain world.

“They need to engage with complex and challenging issues, in a way that prepares them for what it means to live and work and think and lead in that world – personally, professionally and as members of society.”

The university recently launched a three-year plan aimed at developing the organisation in the coming years.

Dr Semantu added: “We have seen our university grow, so that we have around 10,000 students, a real commitment to partnership that involves a huge range of other organizations, a renewed ambition for transforming people’s lives.”

The event was attended by 100 special guests.

University vice-chancellor Professor Julie Mennell spoke of her aim that the university would be a catalyst for individual and regional prosperity and pride with national and international reach and impact to help “change lives and communities.”

The university was formed in 2007 from Cumbria Institute of the Arts, St Martin’s College, Lancaster and UCLans Cumbrian campuses.