Wednesday, 10 June 2009
New £70 million university campus in Ayr gets green light
University of the West of Scotland’s new £70million Ayr Campus is one step closer following the granting of full planning consent and approval for land transfer from South Ayrshire Council.
Construction on the new 18,000m2 Campus, which will be built on the Craigie Estate, next to the River Ayr, is planned to start in September by Bovis Lend Lease UK.
Planned and designed by leading Scottish-based architects RMJM, the development will see the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) joining UWS on the site. Shared facilities will include a general teaching space, gym, refectory, library, lecture theatre, drama studio and computing labs.
The new campus in Ayr, which is part of the University’s £260million development programme and replaces its existing campus on the edge of the Craigie Estate, will create an innovative learning environment for over 4000 students, including students from the nearby Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive.
RMJM’s design for the academic facility is focused around a series of external ‘garden classrooms’ which flow into the new building to create the entrance courtyard, a central atrium and a more private library courtyard space. The campus also incorporates the grade A listed Craigie House.
The new campus, which has been developed in consultation with the Natural Garden Society, Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, will provide Ayrshire with one of the UK’s most modern, environmentally friendly and sustainable Higher Education learning environments and will also provide a beautiful setting for public access and use of the Craigie estate.
Sitting on the banks of the River Ayr, the new building is designed to the highest environmental rating – BREEAM excellent – adopting sustainable strategies including rainwater harvesting and on-site power generation through sustainable sources.
Professor Seamus McDaid, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland, said: “We are delighted that our exciting Ayr Campus development has received the full support of South Ayrshire Council and that we are now one step closer to the creation of this unique campus facility.
“Our new campus in Ayr will provide significant benefits not only to the University, but to the local community and the west of Scotland as a whole. It will enable us to expand our course provision and develop an international dimension to our operations in Ayr, with a campus that will attract students from across the globe.”
Professor Bill McKelvey, Principal of SAC said “We are very pleased to be joining UWS on this new campus. It will reinvigorate SAC in Ayrshire and provide our students with a great environment in which to study.”
Neil McLean, RMJM office director in Glasgow, said: “This is a major development for higher education in Scotland. We have been inspired by the fantastic natural setting of the existing estate and now look forward to delivering a unique building that students can enjoy both inside and out.”
University of the West of Scotland, Scotland’s biggest modern university, caters for almost 20,000 students and 2,000 staff with campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley. The University’s new campus is scheduled for opening in September 2011.
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