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Today the University of Cumbria launches its draft masterplan for the Ambleside campus 2012 - 2022 at a public exhibition. Over the last few months the university has been examining its estates plans and investigating the best location for its policing, forestry, outdoor studies, conservation and applied science subjects since further education at Newton Rigg was transferred to another provider. A detailed business case for the phased reoccupation of Ambleside has been approved and in accordance with the Lake District Park Authority's planning guidelines, the university can now showcase its 10-year vision for the redevelopment of the site.
Professor Liz Beaty, Pro Vice Chancellor, Academic Enterprise and External Relations said:
"The Ambleside masterplan sets out the university’s long-term vision for the future of the campus and we are enthusiastic about the opportunities it affords. With the decant of all students and staff from Newton Rigg due by 2014, a critical concern has been to confirm the practicality and financial sustainability of redevelopment at Ambleside, previously identified as the preferred location for a number of our academic programmes. We are delighted that after securing the future of land-based further education at Newton Rigg, we now have the opportunity to plan for a positive development of the University of Cumbria in this beautiful location."
The university is launching these plans in an unpredictable HE environment and it will be essential that the university takes full advantage of funds raised through any disposal of estates to benefit both the university and the Ambleside community.
Professor Beaty continues:
"Our vision will be achieved only if we have the full and committed support of our partners and stakeholders. Envisaging our future in Ambleside during uncertain times for the HE sector is a demanding and complex challenge. We will need the cooperation and efforts of all our key stakeholders and, importantly, the local community, to ensure the best future for our university."
Development plans will be phased, with phase one completed by 2014. Further development opportunities will adapt to any internal or external unforeseen factors which may arise and enable the university to achieve the best possible outcome for the university, its students and the Ambleside community.
The university very much welcomes the views of all its stakeholders on the 10-year vision and encourages people to make comment by viewing the exhibition material online and completing the online questionnaire at www.cumbria.ac.uk or going along to the exhibition itself at the Charlotte Mason Building, Ambleside campus on:
Friday 13 July - 12.00 - 6.00pm
Saturday 14 July - 10.00 - 1.00pm
Representatives from the university and the design team will be available to answer any questions you may have, and to talk you through the exhibition boards. All comments should be received by 5 August 2012.
After the public exhibition the masterplan will also be held at the local library, the Tourist Information Office, LDNPA offices until 5 August, alternatively all materials can be viewed at www.cumbria.ac.uk for the duration of the consultation.