Campus plan "truly excellent" - Principal

Issued: Thu, 15 Dec 2016 08:10:00 GMT

The Principal, Professor Anton Muscatelli, has welcomed University Court's decision to approve a capital plan for campus development.

In a message to UofG staff and students he said the decision was "truly excellent news".

University Court agreed to a revised capital plan for campus development: the initial financial envelope of around £450m will be spent over the next five years and is part of a wider £1bn investment. This will include significant spend on refurbishing and improving the existing estate. This will be one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland's history.

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Speaking just after the University Court meeting which took place on the Garscube Campus, Professor Muscatelli said: "This is truly excellent news for all of us - staff, students and the wider community. It confirms our ambition to not simply grow the estate but to pioneer innovative ways of teaching, learning and research and to ensure the University of Glasgow continues to be a world-leading institution.

"The most significant investment and expansion for more than a century." 

"As you would expect with such a massive commitment, detailed and extensive consideration has been given as to how this investment should be managed, what projects should proceed immediately and what might then follow in separate but linked phases of development.

"Although very difficult choices have had to be made, none of the projects has been rejected outright - although some are not as envisaged in their original format.

"Instead of opting for a larger number of buildings at the beginning, the capital plan is now focused on a more staged development - although should the University grow at a faster rate than we think it might, this phasing could be accelerated," the Principal said.

The first part of the Campus Development plan, known as Phase 1A, will see the construction of a Learning and Teaching Hub on University Avenue. Work on this should start in late spring 2017. Attention will then be focused on the Western Infirmary Site. Pending final planning permission from Glasgow City Council, the University will consider business cases from project boards for a range of new buildings over the next three years. 

The Principal said that in spite of the current turbulent economic and political environment, he believed the decision made by Court ensured that the future for the University was extremely bright. He said: "We stand on the brink of the most significant investment and expansion for more than a century, comparable in many ways with the move from the High Street to Gilmorehill in the 1870s. Our focus now will be on creating an inclusive and welcoming campus, fit for the 21st century and beyond and which will continue to attract the brightest and best students and staff from across the globe."