University Plans Create State Art Engineering Centre

With the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility in Preston, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has taken another step toward establishing itself as a leader in engineering innovation.

The Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) at UCLan has received planning permission for a £30 million integrated hub for teaching, research, and knowledge exchange that will bring together the region’s expertise from academia and industry.

The flagship project will achieve a number of key goals, including reclaiming Lancashire’s role as a national centre for advanced manufacturing, ensuring that local skills reflect social and economic needs, and increasing the number of female engineers.

“This outline planning application sets out the University’s ambitious and exciting vision to boost levels of innovation through increased knowledge and industry partnerships, both nationally and internationally,” said Rob Wallace, Dean of Engineering at UCLan.

“Now that the application has been submitted, we can begin to look forward to the EIC and the critical role it will play in the Lancashire economy and the UK’s broader Industrial Strategy.”

“UCLan aims to close the skills gap by inspiring and shaping the next generation of engineering leaders, producing an additional 500 locally trained graduates per year, and increasing the number of young people, particularly females, who choose to study engineering at a local university.”

“Lancashire is a national centre of excellence in the advanced manufacturing and aerospace sectors, and we are home to many world-class companies such as BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, and PACCAR (Leyland Trucks),” said a spokesperson for Lancashire Enterprise. Lancashire is also home to some of the best universities in the country.

“Through our Innovation Excellence Programme, the LEP is building on these strengths by bringing together our academic talent with business and industry to create the innovation and skills solutions required to maintain and grow our number one position in advanced manufacturing and aerospace.”

“As part of that programme, the LEP has supported the new Engineering Centre at UCLan.” This flagship project will help to produce the engineers that our advanced manufacturing and aerospace sectors require to thrive, as well as support businesses and industry in reaching new heights of excellence.

“This is yet another example of how the LEP is investing in key sectors of the economy to improve skills and innovation as part of our ambitious strategic plan to achieve transformational change and grow the county’s economy by £3 billion over the next decade.”

The EIC, the first major milestone in UCLan’s £200 million Campus Masterplan, has been identified as a signature project within Lancashire’s Strategic Economic Plan and has received £10.5 million through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Lancashire ‘Growth Deal’ with the Government.

HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) provided an additional £5 million cash injection, which will be used to outfit the facility to the highest standard with advanced technology and specialist equipment.

UCLan has conducted extensive consultations with local residents, businesses, and University staff and students to gather feedback on the proposed EIC, which is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018.

Last Updated on December 30, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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