A new partnership between Cumbria and Lancaster universities will be a “catalyst” for the regional economy, Cumbria county council have said.
The university partners will open an £80m higher education campus with funds from a multiregional £345m investment for the Anglo-Scottish Borderlands.
The new campus will be located in the historic Citadels area of Carlisle and is to be a “focal point for higher education, business and cultural interaction” for the communities along the border, a statement from the universities said.
The university partners are tasked with ‘upskilling’ the community, expanding access to higher education, and working with schools and colleges to deliver an apprenticeships agenda. Teaching will be delivered by the University of Cumbria and Lancaster’s Management School.
The Borderlands Inclusive Growth deal has been delivered in conjunction with the councils of Carlisle, Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, and the UK and Scottish governments.
This new partnership with Lancaster will enable both universities to make a considerable impact on economic growth across Cumbria
– Prof Julie Mennell, University of Cumbria
University of Cumbria’s vice-chancellor, Prof Julie Mennell, said: “We believe firmly in partnership working to deliver our and our region’s success and we look to collaborate with nationally and internationally-leading partners wherever possible to improve our offer and relevance to learners, employers and our region.
“This new partnership with Lancaster will enable both universities to make a considerable impact on economic growth across Cumbria and the Borderlands region, in areas of health as well as business and we are extremely pleased to make this announcement.”
Having a presence in Cumbria, where our experts can be near and actively support local SMEs, is geographically important to our success
– Prof Steve Bradley, Lancaster University
Lancaster’s interim vice-chancellor, Prof Steve Bradley, said: “The universities of Lancaster and Cumbria already work successfully on a number of projects in Cumbria in relation to SME engagement and Lancaster has a proven track record of delivering value to SMEs with a focus on innovation and sustainability.
“In particular the two universities have recently collaborated in the development of the £15m Northwest Eco-Innovation project to support SME growth focused on innovation in low carbon technologies and services and in a joint submission for £25m of funding from the national Strength In Places fund.
“Having a presence in Cumbria, where our experts can be near and actively support local SMEs, is geographically important to our success in stimulating economic growth – a key regional goal for Lancaster University. Skills needed in the region have been identified as digital innovation and logistics where Lancaster has particular strengths.”