UWE unveils blueprint to transform Bristol campus

Issue date: 13 October 2009

An aerial image of the draft masterplan The University of the West of England (UWE) is unveiling new proposals to transform its Frenchay campus this week (w/c 12 October).

These will form the basis of the biggest change to the University since the creation of the campus more than 40 years ago.

The latest plans – in the form of a 'draft masterplan' – are being shown to staff, students and the wider public in a series of exhibitions from 12 – 23 October on all UWE's Bristol campuses.

They are designed to transform the way the whole University works, developing its ability to work in partnership with employers, students and the community. At the same time they will secure the University's future in the competitive world of higher education by providing a top quality campus to attract the best staff and students.

The design illustrates the University's strong links with regional businesses and the community, and the University is hoping to provide even more facilities for wider public use.

The new blueprint shows how the University campus could be developed in stages over the next 25 years. The plan is to have a phased move towards a single Bristol campus at Frenchay, relocating the St Matthias within the next five years and Glenside facilities within ten years.

The proposals aim to deliver high quality, sustainable, accessible buildings by refurbishing existing space together with some new build. High quality landscaped spaces will be created throughout the campus where staff, students and visitors can meet and relax.

To create a focal heart to the campus, there will be a central plaza with a new iconic building housing a performing arts centre and other recreational facilities. A pedestrian street lined with academic buildings will run through the middle of the campus, creating a secure, vibrant route for staff and students.

The existing student village at Frenchay will be expanded to include a small sports pitch and village green and new student halls of residence will be created by Wallscourt Farm on the new land bought by the University last year.

The existing main entrance off Coldharbour Lane will be upgraded and a new public entrance created at the north of the site to create more welcoming entrances to the campus. A largely car-free central area is planned, with main car parks located at the outer edges and a new network of internal routes provided for pedestrians and cyclists.

A range of improvements to public transport facilities include an upgraded central bus station and bus routes and stops on and around the campus. Routes are also identified for the proposed future rapid transit system.

For the local community, there will be access to a range of the University's professional development, entertainment, shopping and a range of sports facilities.

To strengthen links with the private and public sector and promote knowledge sharing between organisations and academia, a new research and enterprise park will be created next to the campus.

Links with business and the community are also being developed with the launch of a new exhibition and conference centre later this year, set to be one of the largest in the region, housed in one of the buildings bought by the University from Hewlett Packard last year. This will be followed later in 2010 with a new building which will facilitate interdisciplinary working between all professions involved in the design and construction industry.

Anyone unable to get to the exhibition in person can view it online and provide feedback through the New Campus Project website at http://www.uwenewcampus.com

UWE Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve West said: “UWE's guiding principle which underpins everything we do is to make a positive difference to our students, business and society and the changes we are proposing at Frenchay help deliver these aims.

“As well as improving facilities for staff and students, the plans will allow us to better meet the needs of our partners, employers and the local community.

“We want to ensure that our long term development serves the needs of Greater Bristol and the region so please visit our exhibitions – either in person or virtually – and let us know what you think.”

Detailed information about the New Campus Project and regular news updates are available at http://www.uwenewcampus.com

Exhibition Details

The consultation exhibitions will be open on week days from Monday 12 – Friday 23 October in the Underpass, near main reception at Frenchay and the refectory areas at Bower Ashton, Glenside and St Matthias campuses.

There will also be a separate staffed exhibition at Frenchay on Friday 16 October, 17:00 – 19:00 and Saturday 17 October, 10:00 – 16:00 in The Street Café, New Redland Building, Frenchay Campus.

There will a chance to meet members of the team which has drawn up the plans and discuss the proposals - on Friday between 17:00-19:00 and Saturday 12:00-14:00.


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