The University has welcomed the decision by Glasgow City Council to give the green light to its campus masterplan to develop the former Western Infirmary site.

It will also transform the West End of the city, bringing significant community, economic, environmental and cultural benefits as well as the creation of 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Anton Muscatelli, 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 £430m will be spent over the next five years on the first phase of the project. It is part of a wider £1bn 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.”

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This first phase of the development will see the construction of the following new buildings, together with clearance of the Western Infirmary Site and the new landscaping of the public realm:

 

  • A Learning and Teaching Hub 
  • A Research Hub to facilitate new multidisciplinary cutting edge research
  • An Institute of Health and Wellbeing tackling the public health problems of Glasgow and beyond 
  • The Adam Smith Business School including space to grow our postgraduate students population 
  • A base for our College of Arts including new performance spaces
  • Significant upgrade of our chemistry building (the Joseph Black Building) 

 The second phase, expected to start in 2023, will deliver: 

 

  •  New teaching and research space for engineering
  • An Innovation Quarter on Church Street to improve engagement with local industry and promote creation of new companies
  • A building for research into chronic diseases
  • The creation of a Social Justice Hub to lead research in the elimination of global inequalities

 A number of conditions are attached to the planning application which the University has recognised and to which the University is already working towards compliance. These conditions cover the replacement of trees, landscaping and the retail mix on the site.

The first building will be a new Learning and Teaching Hub which will link into the Boyd Orr building on University Avenue. Planning permission for the L&T Hub was granted in December. It will deliver a 500-seater raked lecture theatre, four flat-floored lecture theatres and 1,000-plus spaces for learning.

In the longer term it should also provide much-needed conference space and facilities for outreach and widening participation work with schools. Its construction will necessitate the demolition of the Mathematics and Statistics building whose occupants will move into a temporary home on the former Western Infirmary site in April.

This decision is very good news all round but particularly for businesses considering expansion into Scotland and Glasgow. The university prides itself for sharing their expertise, partnering with both public and private sector organisations to undertake research across a broad range of disciplines generating new innovation relevant to business and global economies. 

 

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