Brilliant Barrow Board visits site of new university campus


Members of the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal Board have visited the site of an ambitious scheme to create a dedicated university campus in the town.

The board, made up of representatives from a range of private, public and third sector organisations, saw first hand the prominent location that will become home to a new campus building on Barrow Island.

Once completed, the University of Cumbria-operated facility will offer degree-level courses for more than 1,400 students by 2031.

Steve Cole, CIO & Operational Improvement Director at BAE Systems Ltd and Chair of the Brilliant Barrow Town Deal Board, said: “This new campus building will mean that Barrow becomes a university town to give people of all ages the chance to go into higher education without having to move away.

“The project is now at a crucial stage as we move closer to seeing activity on site including groundworks and construction.

“Viewing the site together as a board was such a valuable experience. We look forward to seeing the new campus building brought to life as we continue through the delivery stage of the Brilliant Barrow programme.”

The Brilliant Barrow Town Deal secured the maximum £25 million from the Government’s Towns Fund in 2021 for seven projects designed to help Barrow to thrive for generations.

The Brilliant Barrow Town Deal Board is now working with Westmorland and Furness Council – as well as partner organisations including the University of Cumbria, Furness College and Natural England – to deliver the projects before 2026.

The new university campus forms part of the Barrow Learning Quarter project which aims to improve access to further and higher education for a range of people.

The campus will be located on a 2.6 hectare site provided by BAE Systems Ltd next to the Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge.

Once completed, it will help to attract and retain talented graduates with high-level skills that are vital for the area now and into the future.

It will initially deliver programmes aligned to areas including Advanced Manufacturing, Computing, including cyber security, and Supply Chain and Logistics.

Brilliant Barrow Board member and University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Mennell, said: “This is a campus that will offer innovative, inclusive facilities and provision for a wide range of people, helping to transform lives and the communities in which people live.

“Meeting as a board and being able to see where the campus will be located, visualising its prominent position on Barrow Island looking towards Barrow, has been a powerful exercise. Not least, in reinforcing the increased reach and accessibility of higher education in, for and from Barrow this project will deliver and the positive and long-lasting impact this will have.”

The Barrow Learning Quarter project also includes work to revitalise and upgrade the learning environment at Barrow Sixth Form College. The 14-month programme of work at the Rating Lane campus began earlier this year.

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