University students for Scunthorpe? Campus bid steps up

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 31 Aug 2017

PLANS for a new university centre in Scunthorpe have moved a step closer to becoming reality, with an £8 million funding bid to be submitted today.

The University Campus North Lincolnshire, to be located in the Church Square area of the town centre, is being brought forward by North Lincolnshire Council in partnership with North Lindsey College and the University of Lincoln.

The joint bid being submitted today (Thursday, August 31) is for funding from the Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership for the first phase of what will be a £20 million investment into higher education and office accommodation.

The university centre would provide higher education opportunities for 250 people at any one time at the campus, which will add to the opportunities already on offer in the town centre at the Humber University Technical College.

The scheme forms part of the council’s £60 million plan to transform the town centre, with work already under way on new offices for social landlord Ongo and plans announced last week for a £1 million makeover of North Lincolnshire Central Library.

And it adds to plans for private sector investment to bring the former BHS unit in the Parishes shopping centre back to life, which were also announced last week.

Council leader Rob Waltham, pictured, said he hoped the new university centre, which is earmarked to be open from 9am to 9pm, would encourage young people to stay in North Lincolnshire to study, as well as giving others a chance to gain extra qualifications while they work.  He said: “This project is very exciting. It not only acts as an economic and skills boost to the town but demonstrates that other organisations, public and private, have clear confidence in North Lincolnshire in which to invest.

“To develop higher education within North Lincolnshire in this way is a game changer and a major catalyst in helping our businesses to become more productive, more profitable and thereby securing and creating more jobs.

“Scunthorpe is North Lincolnshire’s county town and is the perfect place to create the university centre.

“This is a huge commitment and significant private and public sector investment that will act as a catalyst for attracting further investment to the town.

“We are working with the University of Lincoln and North Lindsey College and private sector businesses to develop the first phase and this will form our bid to Government. 

“We want to retain our young people so they will stay here in North Lincolnshire and give people the opportunity to study while they work by doing part-time degrees and courses.

“The bid confirms our commitment and that of our partners in wanting to turn the vision into reality.”

The proposed higher education and professional learning campus aims to offer learners a chance to achieve NVQ4 qualifications.

It will also look to develop skills required by local employers, meet the needs of new and existing businesses to attract inward investment and raise the aspirations of local people, as well as increasing footfall within the town centre.

The council said it also aims to support aspirations in the business community to have a research and development institute creating new innovation in manufacturing, food and engineering, as well as a faculty for health and social care.

The university centre is expected to bring the number of higher education students in North Lincolnshire to more than 1,500 by 2020.

Anne Tyrrell, chief executive at North Lindsey College, said: “We are really excited at to be involved in such a prestigious project for Scunthorpe.

“Building on the success of our outstanding University Centre at North Lindsey College and working in partnership, we believe a stronger university presence in our town centre will deliver long-term benefits for North Lincolnshire and the wider region.”

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