Preston’s university has officially opened its new multi-million pound ‘social spaces’.Advertisement
Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox visited the University of Central Lancashire to unveil them.
Dr Fox was also in the city for the ‘Great Ideas Hack’ which saw 50 students from UCLan, Blackpool and the Fylde College and Bangor University working together.
The new social spaces, costing £8.15million, are within the Foster Building along with the Harrington and Greenbank buildings where a new structure linking the two has been built.
Glass roofs, indoor hidden gardens and moveable furniture are all features of the new spaces which can be used to work or socialise in.
Read more: New garden planned for the university’s Preston campus
Dr Fox said: “I’m delighted to officially open one of UCLan’s new Social Spaces. These spaces will be extremely valuable to staff and to students, there’s a lot more to education than what you learn here and the space in which you learn it is extremely important. As you can see it’s incredibly light, there’s a huge amount of investment going on here, this is part of a £200 million Masterplan and it includes the new flagship Engineering and Innovation Centre.
“As Secretary of State for International Trade, our department is focussed on maximising the opportunities for British businesses to thrive and the University of Central Lancashire is already one of Preston’s largest employers which contributes £200 million a year to the economy of the North West.
“These buildings will build a new phase here demonstrating the close relationship that exists between universities, businesses and communities and it will combine the world-class teaching facilities with innovative open spaces. There’s a huge interest already from local business who welcome the new focus and opportunities that this will bring to the area. Above all, the new Social Space will give students the space to study and thrive in their own way and leave the University to have one of the most advanced learning environments.”
The Board of Trade’s Ideas Hack meeting was also attended.
Chair of the university board and pro-chancellor David Taylor said: “Given that the University is re-doubling its efforts to support the economic, social and cultural development of Preston and the wider Lancashire region, it is with great pride that we hosted this Board of Trade meeting.
“We had a great story to tell about our contribution to skills development in areas such as engineering, health, business and the creative industries; disciplines which are critical to Lancashire’s prosperity. The day represented a superb opportunity for students with an entrepreneurial flare to learn from the country’s best business leaders and help influence the next wave of UK enterprises.”
Read more: Pavement and road works to begin around the Adelphi Quarter
Are you a student at UCLan? What do you think of the new social spaces? Let us know in the comments below