Plans to transform Scunthorpe's Civic Centre into university campus given go-ahead

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 18 Feb 2019

Scunthorpe's Civic Centre will be transformed into a university campus after proposals were given approval.

Plans to utilise the Grade II listed building on Ashby Road for higher education were unveiled in November and can now go ahead.

North Lindsey College will move its existing undergraduate programmes to the Civic Centre as part of a scheme to deliver 1,500 university places in Scunthorpe.

Councillors gave the green light to the plan at a meeting in the building's council chamber, which is now set to become a lecture theatre for students.

The Civic Centre is now expected to reopen as a university campus in September 2019, with council staff moving into Church Square House in Scunthorpe town centre.

The council chamber at the Civic Centre in Scunthorpe is to be turned into a lecture theatre (Image: David Haber/Scunthorpe Live)

Leader of North Lincolnshire Council Rob Waltham said: "This is a really positive step for the town. We will have a university campus in Scunthorpe on the edge of the town centre which will attract hundreds of students.

"This will boost our student economy, helping shops and businesses that wouldn't normally come to Scunthorpe.

"Employers will also be more likely to come to Scunthorpe if they know they there are plenty of qualified social workers, accountants and engineers graduating every year.

"Whereas in big cities they'd have to compete with other employers, here they'll be able to offer jobs to the best and brightest."

Read more: New Scunthorpe university campus moves a step closer after Government funding secured

During the planning committee meeting, Councillor Tony Gosling called for a walkway monitored by CCTV to protect students walking between the Civic Centre campuses and the college.

Councillor Sandra Bainbridge expressed concerns about the conversion of the listed council chamber into a lecture theatre, but was told by planning officers that very few modifications would be required.

The ground floor of the building, which would see the council chamber become a lecture theatre (Image: Race Cottam Associates)

The scheme is a partnership between North Lincolnshire Council, North Lindsey College and the University of Lincoln.

Plans have been revealed that show how the building would be remodeled with teaching areas replacing councillors' offices and IT labs being installed.

A total of 25 general teaching spaces, shown in red on the drawing above, are planned, along with three seminar spaces, one lecture theatre and a cafe.

Read more: First look at how Scunthorpe's Civic Centre is to be transformed into a university campus

Two external staircases will also be installed, which will be in keeping with the building's appearance.

 The planning document states: "Using this building as an educational facility complements the historical significance of the building and is welcomed, subject to the design and materials being appropriate to the listed building."

When the building was first put on the market, it was suggested it could be turned into a hotel, residential or leisure facility.

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