AMBITIOUS plans for a £110 million university campus in Hulme have been passed by Manchester City Council planners.
Manchester Metropolitan University says the scheme will bring huge economic and educational benefits to the local community.
The University submitted detailed plans to the council in February for the new campus for 6,000 healthcare and teaching students at Birley Fields, next to the Princess Parkway.
The plans combine academic, community and residential use in a scheme whichpromises to create 300 jobs and bring much-needed trade to local businesses.
MMU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Brooks said: “We are delighted that the city’s elected representatives have unanimously backed this progressive plan.
“This is the right plan for our students who will get a fantastic new experience and the right plan for Hulme for the positive impacts it will have on educational aspiration, community partnerships and business growth.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: "This is a significant moment in the regeneration of Hulme and neighbouring areas including Moss Side. It is particularly welcome investment in the current difficult economic climate and will create jobs and significant spin-off benefits for local businesses.
"It will also open up new higher education opportunities for local people and further enhance Manchester's world-class university sector, helping attract and retain peoplewithin the city."
Politicians, housing groups, and the NHS have backed the plans which include a sports hall, drama studios and other facilities available for community use and would see the phased building of student accommodation according to demand.
A survey by Drivers Jonas Deloitte found 80% of residents and businesses thought the campus would have a positive impact, and the University has encouraged local people to help shape the plans through questionnaires and community meetings. A separate impact study carried out by Roger Tyms and Partners found that the campus would generate an additional £29 million spend per annum with local businesses in Hulme and Moss Side.
A strong theme of the campus is sustainability with green technologies such as force ventilation and solar-heated water, car park berths for electric cars and proposals for enhanced public and sustainable transport.
Rupert Goddard, associate partner at architect Sheppard Robson said: “The design combines diverse public spaces with retained and newly planted trees, strong sustainability credentials and innovative architectural design, and will become a landmark project for Hulme and the city."
The University recently strengthened its ties in the community by jointly sponsoring a jobs and training centre The Works on Alexandra Road with other large employers via The Corridor partnership.
Manchester Metropolitan University is a leading university for the professions and a powerful driver of the North West economy.
The University educates and trains large numbers of the region’s legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals. It enjoys an excellent reputation for teaching and applied research and is a recognised innovator in partnership working with its local communities. The University is currently investing almost £300 million in its estate and facilities.
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