New Scunthorpe university campus moves a step closer after Government funding secured
A £2.3 million funding package has been secured for the University Campus North Lincolnshire project, with the first part to open at the Civic Centre in Scunthorpe (Image: David Haber/Scunthorpe Live)
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 31 Jan 2019
A project to create a new university campus in Scunthorpe has taken a step closer to becoming a reality after a £2.3 million funding package was secured.
The Government cash – part of a wider £7 million investment – was agreed by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Skills Capital Investment Fund.
The University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL) is to welcome its first cohort of students in September after a conversion of North Lincolnshire Council's Civic Centre headquarters on Ashby Road, marking the first part of the overall project. Council staff will be moving to Church Square House in the town centre.
The university campus scheme aims to bring higher education opportunities to thousands of people across the region from a number of sites in North Lincolnshire.
North Lindsey College – part of the DN Colleges Group – and the University of Lincoln will develop the current council building to create an innovation hub where higher-level education will be offered across a range of subjects and levels, including post-graduate courses.
Initially, courses on offer will focus on business and leadership, innovation, engineering manufacturing and health-related programmes.
The council chamber at the Civic Centre in Scunthorpe is to be turned into a lecture theatre (Image: David Haber/Scunthorpe Live)
The transformation of the Civic Centre building will see the existing council chamber becoming a large lecture theatre, with offices becoming teaching and seminar spaces.
The UCNL project will also provide opportunities for businesses to work closely with education providers, deliver education and training, and become an incubator and innovation space for new and growing businesses.
Councillor Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "The region, its people and its business owners, do not lack capability nor ambition, but there is a higher-education gap which has a detrimental impact on innovation and thus productivity.
"By developing an environment where innovation is encouraged, intellectual pursuits are stimulated and academic endeavours are commercialised, opportunities won't just be realised, they will be born.
"The higher education element is critical but it must come hand-in-glove with entrepreneurialism. The best ideas, when cultivated, create viable, scalable and sustainable businesses.
"These businesses attract external investment, create high-paid jobs and do not just utilise technological advances but drive the development of technology for traditional and new industries.
The Civic Centre, on Ashby Road in Scunthorpe, which is set to be transformed into the first part of the University Campus North Lincolnshire project (Image: David Haber/scunthorpelive)
North Lindsey College principal Mick Lochran said he was: "Delighted that such an ambitious project, that will be transformational for Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire, is becoming a reality, building on our growing University Centre."
Ruth Carver, director of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: "This £2.3 million investment gives the go-ahead to an impressive University Centre in Scunthorpe that will further support businesses and learners in the marine, manufacturing and offshore industries.
"This funding will help develop a wide-ranging programme of courses which will target the gaps in existing provision. It will make sure that people in work can update their skills and that our youngsters leave education fully equipped to play their part in developing a vibrant and thriving economy.
"The project will provide a single location for supporting employers and delivering education and training along with dedicated incubator and innovation space for new and growing businesses."
The Civic Centre in Scunthorpe will become the first part of the University Campus North Lincolnshire project(Image: David Haber/scunthorpelive)
Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said: "The Government is investing a total of £7.3 million from the Local Growth Fund to build skills in the Greater Lincolnshire area and this allocation of £2.3 million will give thousands of people in the region access to higher education, including degree apprenticeships, for the first time.
"It will also support local businesses by giving them an opportunity to work closely with the education sector to shape training for their existing staff and workforce of the future."
And Julian Free, deputy vice chancellor of people services and operations at the University of Lincoln, said: "This latest development is an exciting step towards making higher education and skills opportunities available to even more people in the north of the county. By widening participation and raising people’s aspirations, we hope the project will become a catalyst for innovation and growth.
"The university is committed to this project which will have a transformational effect on Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire."