University of West of Scotland rejects plan to move out of Hamilton
Plans to relocate a university campus in South Lanarkshire to a business park in North Lanarkshire have been rejected.
The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) was considering moving its facility in Hamilton to the Maxim Park site near Eurocentral on the M8.
However, its ruling body said a proposal for a new campus at Hamilton International Technology Park is now its preferred option.
A final decision is due next year.
There were fears the campus would move away from Hamilton, after it failed to secure funding to upgrade its current base, the former Bell College building in Almada Street.
However, following a consultation process, the university court announced a full business case would now be brought forward for moving the campus to a new state-of-the-art, modern facility in the town's technology park.
Ian Welsh, chair of UWS court, said: "Following a lengthy discussion, the court felt the opportunity to develop what would be the UK's most environmentally friendly, dynamic and vibrant new campus was one that could not be missed.
"We held detailed discussions with the developers and other stakeholders, who presented a very compelling and convincing business and educational case for HITP, including an exciting and innovative legacy plan for the current campus location which will add even more value to the town centre.
"In assessing these options, we consulted widely with the community, engaging with students, colleagues and external stakeholders to best advise our position."
As well as plans for new teaching and learning facilities, there would also be sports amenities and new student accommodation built at the new site.
The proposal also includes developing a UWS technology and innovation park, adding to the university's research and commercial activities.
Principal and vice-chancellor, Prof Craig Mahoney, said: "This will be a game-changer for higher education in Scotland and will create the country's most, dynamic and exciting learning environment, allowing us to grow the educational opportunities for students internationally, across the UK, Lanarkshire and the wider central belt.
"As well as securing the long-term future of UWS in Hamilton, we're able now to develop a truly inspirational and world-class University campus fit for existing and future students."