The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 24 July 2009

Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop
checks progress at new Ayr Campus

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop this week saw first-hand how the University of the West of Scotland’s (UWS) new state-of-the-art Ayr Campus is taking shape.

[Pictured: Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop and Depute Principal of the University of the West of Scotland Gill Troup.]

Ms Hyslop examined blueprints and visited the site for the new 18,000 square metre campus as the UWS - which is benefiting from the accelerated capital spend announced by the Scottish Government earlier this year - gears up to get building work off the ground.

More than £20 million has been brought forward from future further and higher education capital budgets in Scotland to help secure construction and engineering jobs in the local and national economy. Following the acceleration, the UWS will now receive almost £11 million in capital funding for the two year period running to 2010. It will also receive a further £27.8 million in capital funding from the Scottish Funding Council specifically for this project.

Ms Hyslop said: “Creating better college and university campuses across Scotland where people can gain the skills and qualifications they need to gain employment, stay in work and play their part in Scotland's economic recovery and future is a top priority for this Government.

“In difficult times people will look to get involved in learning as an alternative to employment, and I’m delighted that the UWS has been able to benefit from the Scottish Government’s decision to accelerate our capital spending in the public sector - a move which means that projects like this can begin sooner, that jobs in construction are created or safeguarded at this difficult time, and that local communities can benefit more quickly from new facilities.

“The Ayr Campus is a truly innovative and exciting development, and I’m sure this impressive facility will inspire countless students to further themselves and contribute to a more successful Scotland.”

[Artist's impression of the new Ayr Campus. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Depute Principal of the University of the West of Scotland Gill Troup said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to discuss our new £70 million Ayr Campus development with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

“The creation of the shared campus facility, between UWS and the Scottish Agricultural College, will be an exciting and beneficial development for the Ayrshire economy and for the West of Scotland. The campus, with support from the Scottish Funding Council, has been designed to be one of the UK’s most environmentally sustainable higher education environments. Its creation will enable us to expand our course provision for people in Ayrshire and beyond, providing an innovative learning space for over 4000 students.”

The new £70 million campus beside the River Ayr - which is part of the UWS’s £250 million development programme - will be shared with the Scottish Agricultural College and includes teaching space, gym, refectory, library, lecture theatre, drama studio and computing labs. Construction work is due to start in September.

It has been developed in consultation with the Natural Garden Society, Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and will be one of the UK’s most modern, environmentally friendly and sustainable Higher Education learning environments.

The acceleration of capital spend is part of the Scottish Government’s economic recovery programme to safeguard jobs and assist Scotland’s local and national economies during the current economic downturn.

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