University of Worcester announces plans for new healthcare facility

The converted newspaper headquarters may one day house the university’s planned Three Counties medical school

The University of Worcester plans to transform a former newspaper office into a teaching facility for healthcare and medical students.

Plans to turn the dilapidated 1960s building, which was once home to the Worcester News and its printing presses, into a specialist teaching facility will be considered by the council next year.

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Where once printing presses whirred, soon students will be able to meet, socialise and study.

The university took ownership of the building last year, and intends to transform the two- and three-storey structure – which features a large glass roof above a mezzanine area – into a facility with an anatomy laboratory, a suite of GP simulation rooms, and a range of general seminar and teaching rooms.

The building is less than a mile from the campus proper and next-door to Worcester’s Garage Studio. The concrete structure will be covered in cladding.

University of Worcester announces plans for new healthcare facility external
An artist impression of the new facility, viewed from the road.

Worcester, which was named sustainability institution of the year at the 2019 Green Gown Awards promised the development would be “in line with the university’s environmental and sustainability ethos”. The university achieved RICS SKA Gold for its redevelopment of the former Austin House Motor Garage and Showrooms.

The university offers courses in nursing, midwifery, paramedicine, physiotherapy and physician associates. It hopes the centre will host its planned Three Counties Medical School, which awaits approval from the General Medical Council; the application is well-advanced and is currently at Stage 4, and Worcester hopes to welcome its first medical and surgical students in September 2022.

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The offices were built in 1965 and will be covered in cladding to rejuvenate the tired concrete shell. (Image via Google maps)

University vice-chancellor and chief executive Prof David Green said: “The development of this facility will be key in providing inclusive and inspiring learning facilities to educate the next generation of health professionals that this country so badly needs.

“This new centre for health and medical education will bring much-needed jobs and prosperity to the city, creating hundreds of new opportunities to gain a first-class education and vital professional qualifications in a wide variety of health professions including.”

Read more: Places & spaces: December 2020

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