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University secures planning approval for student centre and new civic space

A flagship project in The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Masterplan has been given planning approval at a Preston City Council hearing.

Designed by Hawkins Brown following an international RIBA competition, the proposed Student Centre and a modern civic square will be the focal point of the University’s £200m Masterplan development.

The new Student Centre, which has targeted a BREEAM (environmental quality) rating of ‘excellent’ will be 7,304m² providing a new reception area, informal learning spaces and a student wellbeing support centre.

Designed as an iconic gateway to the City, the new square will span 8,440m² providing flexible and adaptable spaces for a wide range of community, public, business and student uses.

The project will also see improvements made to landscaping and the public realm in Adelphi Quarter.

Following a comprehensive consultation process, representations were made by various local groups. These were considered at the hearing and planning approval was given provided conditions were met, which will be formerly made public toward the end of January.

Michael Ahern, chief operating officer at UCLan, said: “Securing planning approval for this flagship project is fantastic news and we’re extremely grateful to the many people and organisations who came forward to provide us with their views during the consultation process. Their contribution was invaluable.

“It’s another significant step toward delivering a centre of learning where people of all interests and backgrounds can feel at ease, comfortable in their physical surroundings and supported in their academic, social and business aspirations.

“This project is of significant importance. Not only will it transform our campus but will positively contribute to the ongoing regeneration of Preston.”

Work on the site could start in early 2019 with the Student Centre and square completed during the summer of 2020.

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