AMBITIOUS and exciting plans to create Burnley’s very own student village are close to becoming a reality.
An application to transform the GUS building in Kingsway, Bank Parade, into 126 bedroom student accommodation and a number of shops will go before members of Burnley Council’s Development Control Committee on Thursday.
If passed it will mark the first phase in a multi-million pound project aimed at revitalising that area of Burnley while creating a dedicated hub for the growing number of Higher Education students coming to town to study at UcLan, UCFB and the planned University Technical College.
Two other applications relating to the site are expected to go before the council in the coming weeks. The first centres on building a four-floor student accommodation block with 96 bedrooms next to the GUS building while the second is for a four-storey extension to the existing building with room for a sports bars, student union and a further 32 bedrooms.
The consortium behind the plans is East Lancashire Regeneration Ltd and managing director Mr Alan Kinder said: “We have worked closely with Burnley Council to move this application forward.
“We’re quite excited about the plans and we have had a lot of interest from a number of commercial entities that don’t currently have a presence in the town centre at the moment.
“The plans look at converting the top two floors of the building into accommodation while leaving the entire ground floor free for a number of retail units.
“This will have a real positive impact on this part of town as well as acting as a catalyst for the rest of Burnley.
The other two applications will hopefully go before the council in December or January and we are hoping to start the work as soon as possible.”
The report urges councillors to give the application the green light, saying: “The proposal would provide appropriate and convenient accommodation for students whose presence in this part of the town centre would be likely to add to its vitality.”