Work has started on the first phase of the University of Central Lancashire’s £200million campus masterplan.
The Preston-based university has a 10-year vision to transform its presence in the city, starting with the demolition of the Fylde Building.
Over the next few years we’re going to see regeneration which builds on us being a part of the city and it’s a testament to the staff and their dedication that we can have the ambition, and support of the board, to move it forward.Professor Mike Thomas
Scaffolding has been erected and the bulldozers have moved in to pull down the iconic building to make way for a new multi-million pound student support facility, forming part of a new gateway to the university.
Preston-based Bradley Demolition is carrying out the deconstruction, with the majority of the materials being recycled.
The exciting scheme will include a remodelled Adelphi roundabout with the creation of a new public square, unifying the university with the city.
The long-term vision is to spark a major focus on regeneration and business investment in the university quarter with wider benefits for Preston and beyond.
Professor Mike Thomas, UCLan’s interim vice-chancellor, said: “The links between ourselves, the city and the region are really coming together. Over the next few years we’re going to see regeneration which builds on us being a part of the city and it’s a testament to the staff and their dedication that we can have the ambition, and support of the board, to move it forward.”
Michael Ahern, UCLan’s chief operating officer added: “This is probably the biggest investment Preston has seen and will transform the city and the university campus.
“It is designed to be accessible and usable by both the University and local people, and the design has been created in consultation with community groups.”
TV journalist and UCLan board member Fiona Armstrong said: “This is the most ambitious plan the university has ever undertaken in its long history and it’s one which is very exciting.
“I grew up in this city and remember this building as the labour exchange where people queued up to collect their dole money.
“Now it’s come full circle and this symbolises academic potential and people gaining great careers from an amazing seat of learning. It’s further regeneration for the city and that is a great thing.”