University of Ulster expansion revealed

Published Thursday, 01 March 2012
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Architects' impressions of the new £250m development at the University of Ulster's York Street campus, which is expected to replace the Jordanstown site, have been unveiled.

University of Ulster expansion revealed
The redevelopment at York Street will replace much of the Jordanstown campus. (© UTV)

The development is expected to be completed in 2018 and will be built around the existing campus, and will house the 15,000 full-time and part-time students and staff who are already based at Jordanstown and Belfast.

Many of the buildings at the Jordanstown campus are due to be demolished and effectively replaced with the four building site, which will be the same size as Victoria Square, in Belfast.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett confirmed the university will formally submit its planning application later this month.

He said the Jordanstown campus is "beyond its sell-by date".

"It's served us well but it needs replacing and we can do our job better here, in the city centre.

"We know in the past this part of the city centre has missed out, the Cathedral Quarter is being revitalised, this will add to that substantially and you will, no doubt, see this part of the Cathedral Quarter revitalised and more activity moved here," said Professor Barnett.

The design for the new campus has been developed by architects FeildenCleggBradley Studios and it is hoped the buildings will form part of Belfast's developing skyline.

"It's articulated in a way, very much in sympathy to the collections of buildings such as St Patrick's Church, Clifton House and St Anne's Cathedral, and works to be sympathetic to the scale of those traditional 18 and 19 century buildings," said architect Sam Tyler.

"This building will take its place on the skyline and we will see the whole identity of the city shift from one that's about industry, to where it will become one of the learning cities," he added.

Professor Barnett said the campus offers an opportunity to rebalance Belfast and reshape the city.

"We are already working with central and local government as well as political representatives and community leaders to ensure Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole can take advantage of this opportunity," he said.

The university is working with Belfast City Council and other government departments to address concerns around student housing, car parking and public transport.

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry welcomed the redevelopment plans.

"It is the single largest higher education construction project to be undertaken in Northern Ireland for a long time.

"The development will bring many benefits beyond the university and will be a welcome boost for our construction industry.

He concluded: "I look forward to the development of a new, vibrant city centre campus in Belfast which will make a meaningful difference - not just for the people in this city but for everyone across Northern Ireland."

© UTV News
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