Green light for university’s expansion plans

THE University of Glasgow has received planning permission to press ahead with its £1 billion campus masterplan.

University of Glasgow

Glasgow City Council has given the green light in principle to plans, which involve developing the former Western Infirmary site. The university said the plans will lead to the creation of “world-class” facilities and transform the city’s west end.

Up to 3000 new jobs could be created. The first phase will see construction of a learning and teaching hub, a research hub, an institute of health and wellbeing, a new business school, a base for the College of Arts and an upgrade of the university’s chemistry building.

Professor Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor at the university said, “We are delighted that Glasgow City Council has endorsed our ambitious plan which we believe will be a major economic driver for the city and for Scotland as well as underpin this university’s world-leading position.

“The decision to approve the masterplan is pivotal to allowing us to start this development. An initial financial envelope of around £430 million will be spent over the next five years on the first phase of the project. It is part of a wider £1 billion investment which includes significant spend on refurbishing and improving the existing estate. This will be one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history and is certainly the biggest development undertaken by this University since it moved to Gilmorehill 150 years ago.

“We are very aware that whilst we undertake this scale of construction that we must minimise disruption to both the university community and the west end and the university will work closely with community groups to ensure we respect those living and working in the area.”

The second phase of works, expected to start in 2023, will include new teaching and research space for engineering, an innovation quarter, a building for research into chronic diseases and the creation of a social justice hub.

The university said a number of conditions are attached to the planning application, which the university has recognised and is already working towards compliance.