The University of Nottingham has confirmed that it has made an offer to purchase a city centre site for a new campus.
Located at the foot of Nottingham Castle, the Castle Meadow site is currently a cluster of buildings providing office space to organisations including HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and a law firm. It went on the market for £36 million in May and covers an area of 32,500 square metres.
The purchase would, said the university, fulfil a longstanding ambition to have a greater physical presence in the city centre which could provide a campus for final year and postgraduate students studying professional practice-based courses.
A city centre campus could also become a base for the university’s work to support jobs, investment and growth in Nottingham, housing start-up businesses and partnerships developed under the university’s Digital Nottingham programme, and joint activity delivered through the Universities for Nottingham partnership with Nottingham Trent University.
“This is a symbolic milestone in the story of both the city and the University of Nottingham and presents a hugely exciting opportunity,” said the university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Shearer West.
“Opening an additional UK campus is an expression of confidence in the future of both the university and the city of Nottingham.
“Having a campus in the city, with transport links that offer a gateway beyond the region, will help enhance our civic agenda and enable us to deliver on our ambitions to support jobs, investment and growth across the city. It also offers greater opportunities for collaboration with local business, industry and SMEs, making it easier for partners to engage with us and develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
“For students in particular the site could enable greater and more convenient links with regional business and industry through placements, entrepreneurship, and collaboration to deliver a professional and practice-based curriculum, enhancing their graduate employment skills and opportunities to remain and work in the city.
“A civic and professional campus at Castle Meadow will accelerate the delivery of our strategic ambitions, demonstrating to the people of Nottingham just how far we are prepared to go to make a positive difference for the city, while offering the best of facilities for staff and current and future students.”
“As a space to forge collaborations and build relationships around digital transformation, the central location will enable Digital Nottingham to take forward the University’s civic-focused ambition. It is the perfect location to realise its vision, helping to improve life, prosperity and prospects in the city. Castle Meadow provides a new geography for Nottingham as a University and as a place, and it will fast-track Digital Nottingham as an exciting and inclusive presence in the centre of the city.”
The University of Nottingham said the acquisition was likely to complete during the autumn and renovation of the site’s buildings “to the highest standards of environmental sustainability” would commence in 2022.
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