26 Jan 2018
A £1billion pound expansion of the University of Glasgow will help bring new investment to the city and create new civic spaces as the university’s footplate expands by 25%, a Glasgow Chamber audience was told by Principal Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli.
Sir Anton, who was speaking at the Glasgow Talks: New Year New West End event held in the university’s Senate Room, compared the development of the adjacent 14-acre Western Infirmary site to the bold move from the university’s original location in High Street to Gilmorehill in 1870.
He said the investment would create new facilities for teaching and world leading research, and would integrate the university campus into the greater West End and beyond. He added: “We have a historic opportunity here. We wanted to and we need to expand.”
The new extension to the campus will create new facilities, starting with a Learning and Teaching hub to be opened in September next year on University Avenue
This will be followed by a cross-discipline Research Hub in July 2020, an Institute for Health and Wellbeing and a new Adam Smith Business School, both in 2021, an Arts facility in mid-2022 and a new Engineering building in July 2023.
The funding is in place for most of the development, but with an additional £110m to be raised from philanthropic sources.
Sir Anton said that the University expansion area will not be a sealed unit in the West End, but well-integrated into the community with two new squares and avenues giving access and sightlines from Byres Road to Kelvingrove Park. The ground floors of the new buildings will also be open to the public, who will be encouraged to come in and see what is happening there.
Professor Neal Juster, senior vice principal, then gave a detailed presentation of the development plans, and said the University, together with the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, can act as a catalyst for investment for Glasgow.
He said the impact that the SEC and the SSE Hydro has had on the growth of Finnieston can be replicated a little further west, adding: “We expect to pull that investment further along Dumbarton Road.”
Glasgow Chamber chief executive Stuart Patrick, told the audience: “It is quite some vision for the city. It is ambitious. It is actually happening, it’s under way and you can see the building work right now. It’s got wider implications for the city with the Innovation Hub, and it can be benchmarked against the best in the world .”