WORK has started on a new university campus in a Yorkshire town which will become part of a £45m education and sports facility.
The first sod has been turned at the new university campus in Scarborough which will be run by Coventry University.
The plan is for the site, in Weaponess, to be home to the university campus, a new university technical college for 14 to 18-year-olds and a leisure complex including a new football ground for Scarborough Athletic.
Coventry University’s Scarborough Campus opened last month welcoming its first students in a range of courses at Scarborough Spa – but from next year they will move to the new complex in Weaponness. It emerged last year that Scarborough Council had begun discussions with Coventry University over the future of higher education in the area following Hull University’s decision to leave its campus in the town.
In February this year it was confirmed a new campus would be built on a site shared with the proposed Scarborough University Technical College (UTC) as part of a wider £45 million development which also includes a leisure village and new football stadium for Scarborough Athletic.
University technical colleges specialise in vocational education focused on a particular career area.
The Scarborough UTC is to specialise in engineering and design. Building work on the university campus has now got underway.
Chananya Kleaklom, from Scarborough, who is studying on the early childhood development and learning programme, was chosen to start the construction work which is being carried out by developer Willmott Dixon.
She was joined by Scarborough Mayor Coun Tom Fox, vice chancellor of Coventry University Prof John Latham, provost of the Scarborough Campus Professor Craig Gaskell, and Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon.
Prof Latham said: “This is a massively important project for Coventry University, Scarborough and the regional economy.”
“This may be the start of work on a physical building but the establishment of the new campus is the beginning of a huge opportunity. It will bring transformational economic and social impact by enhancing the education, skills and career prospects of local people, but, as the student numbers grow, it will bring an increasingly positive economic impact on the town.”
Coun Fox said: “I am delighted to be able to mark the official start of the construction of the new campus for Coventry University Scarborough Campus.” He added: Students are already benefiting from the university’s high quality and specialist education in existing town centre venues and they can look forward with pride to moving into state of the art learning and living accommodation in autumn 2016.”
Mr Dillon said: “The focus will be on how we support the local economy by using companies from around Scarborough as much as possible to carry out work packages.”