Glasgow & West Scotland

University of Glasgow to build hi-tech Govan campus

An artist's impression of how the new campus would look Image copyright University of Glasgow
Image caption An artist's impression of how the new campus would look

The University of Glasgow has unveiled plans to build a new high-tech campus in Govan on the banks of the Clyde.

It is hoped the site, once synonymous with shipbuilding, could now become a world-renowned centre for nanotechnology and precision medicine.

The university has put up £28m for the project and a further £27.5m will come from the Glasgow City region deal.

The university is currently bidding for a further £63m in funding. It is hoped work can begin within two years.

Image copyright University of Glasgow
Image caption The new campus would be home to a centre of nanotechnology and precision medicine

The site for the new campus is currently a disused car park at the southern end of the Clyde tunnel, near the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH).

The proposed centre will be comprised of two main parts - an enhanced James Watt Nanofabrication Centre which will focus on industries like nanofabrication and photonics and a Precision Medicine Living Lab, which will flow into the existing innovation zone at the QEUH.

Image caption The site is currently a disused car park near the Clyde Tunnel

The new site will allow space for academics to work alongside industry partners.

'Shipbuilding of the 21st Century'

University of Glasgow principal Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli said the new innovation campus could create "Scotland's Silicon Valley on the Clyde".

He said it could be a key step in ensuring the city "retakes its place at the forefront of international innovation and industrial excellence".

Sir Anton said: "I have no doubt that the innovation agenda and industries like quantum technology, nanofabrication and precision medicine can be to the 21st century Glasgow economy, what shipbuilding was in the past."

Image caption Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli said the campus could regenerate the area with high tech jobs

He said the campus could bring hundreds of high-end jobs to the area.

However, it is hoped it will be part of a wider regeneration of Govan.

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: "It isn't just about those high-tech academic jobs, it's about all the other things that come with it.

"We are building homes, there will be new commercial and retail units, all sorts of new opportunities are being created."

There are also plans to establish Invention Rooms for use by local school pupils.

Image caption Glasgow University is leading the way in nanotechnology

The new campus move comes as Glasgow University has outgrown its clean room facilities on Gilmorehill in the west end, where researchers are leading the way in nanotechnology.

Image caption Dr Sara Diegoli said there was no room to expand the current facility

Dr Sara Diegoli, strategic projects manager, said: "It is one of the leading nanofabrication centres in Europe.

"The clean room is in a Victorian building so we have some constraints when it comes to expansion."

Meanwhile, companies come from all over the world come to collaborate with precision medicine experts in Glasgow but they too need room to grow.

Image caption Prof Dame Anna Dominiczak said the development could put Scotland on the map for precision medicine

Prof Dame Anna Dominiczak, head of the College of Medicine, said: "Our current clinical innovation zone will be soon full.

"Bringing industry, NHS and academia together could put Scotland on the map. We could be the best in the world."

The university already has plans in place for huge expansion on the former Western Infirmary site.