Exciting plans from Edge Hill University to invest more than £55 million in its sports facilities and accommodation for students have been given the green light. West Lancashire Borough Council’s planning committee approved the University’s development plans at a meeting on 12th January 2012.

The University is hoping to start construction imminently subject to any possible call in of the approval by the Secretary of State given the very special circumstances of the development in the green belt.

The University intends to build a £15m sports centre and an array of grass and all-weather sports facilities on the land beyond the University’s leisure centre, as well as a new entrance, access roads and extra parking. In addition, there are plans to construct 384 new en-suite student rooms in six separate blocks immediately to the east of the current sports centre. The University hopes to open some of the new facilities as soon as September 2012. 

Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater said: “We believe this is excellent news for the university and the community, creating over 200 construction and 50 permanent jobs at a time of economic recession, bringing over £55m of investment to the local area and providing international-class facilities for over 4,000 local users every week.

“With the Secretary of State’s support, these approvals will re-frame the campus, providing space for new student learning and living facilities for many years to come and the possibility of a campus that truly matches, in both quality and scale, the very best in the United Kingdom.”

Investing in the campus remains an important priority for Edge Hill University. The last year has seen the opening of the £13.5m Student Hub, the latest and most striking addition to Edge Hill’s award-winning campus, providing an innovative learning and social space in which students can socialise and learn.

Chancellor Professor Tanya Byron also officially unveiled the University’s brand new Health and Wellbeing Centre, Milton House, which includes a GP practice, a dentist, an emergency room, counselling services and a chaplaincy. The Centre opened following an extensive renovation project worth £500,000.

Further plans include the refurbishment of the Performing Arts building, which houses the Rose Theatre. It will include a new café and social area ‘wrapped around’ the existing building. An atrium-style extension, overlooking the Ormskirk Campus’ Rock Garden, will provide a versatile area for exhibition space and for theatre goers to socialise before and after performances.

Videos of the news plans can be viewed by clicking here