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Monday 29th September 2003
College gets backing for Infirmary plans
Artist's impression of the new campus
How the new campus may look. ALL PLANS ARE FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY. FINAL DETAILS REMAIN TO BE CONFIRMED
Plans to turn the old Royal Infirmary in Worcester in to a new campus for University College Worcester have been backed by a feasibility study.
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How the development will look
Hereford City Centre plans
New parks for Worcester
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University College Worcester
Worcester City Council
KPMG
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FACTS

Currently UCW has 7,000 students, 70% of whom are female and more than 30% of whom are mature students

That number is forecast to grow to just under 12,000 by 2012/13

Currently more than 50% of students are drawn from Herefordshire and Worcestershire with a further 23% from the West Midlands and Gloucestershire
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The feasibility study, undertaken by consultants KPMG, backs plans for the expansion of University College Worcester utilising the old Royal Infirmary site in Castle Street, in Worcester city centre.

The study was paid for by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Advantage West Midlands, Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council, the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Learning and Skills Council and UCW itself.

The key findings of the study included that:

  • There is significant additional, projected student demand for UCW, with UCW projected to grow to 12,000 students by 2012.
  • UCW's specific proposals for growth have the potential to create an engine for entrepreneurial growth and higher level skills development relevant to the workforce needs of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and the West Midlands as a whole
  • The site of the former Worcester Royal Infirmary at Castle Street is a suitable location for UCW's second site and creates the possibility of a University in Worcester with two sites operating as an efficient single campus.
  • There is widespread support amongst the local community, employers and all key stakeholders for the growth of UCW.
  • 77% of residents polled support the expansion.
  • The expansion programme is financially viable and will provide a positive economic and social return.
  • The expansion will deliver value for money, with the enlarged UCW providing the higher education needs of Herefordshire and Worcestershire and the surrounding areas.
  • The shared infrastructure proposal features a modern library and learning resource centre and a business intelligence library. This is for general public and community use, as well as for UCW’s students and those of the Worcester College of Technology.
Principal Professor David Green, welcomed this backing for the college's expansion plans:

"This is a major undertaking and the proposal had to be right to get both the widespread backing it has received from our partner organisations in the region as well as satisfying stringent financial and other tests.

"This report and the acquisition of the Castle Street site by Advantage West Midlands gives us the opportunity to move ahead strongly and rapidly with this new development which is so right for all concerned.

"Going ahead with this expansion will ensure we continue to widen participation and allow equality of access to UCW for students from all backgrounds.

"We will also be providing a unique learning centre and library in the heart of the city to serve higher education students, further education students, business and children in the city and the two counties."

What do you make of these plans? Let us know on our message boards.
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