Burnley's university population set to rise from 400 to 4,000

UCLan is expanding its provision in the town
UCLan is expanding its provision in the town
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The number of university students in Burnley is set to blossom from 400 to 4,000 in the next seven years, thanks to a major commitment from the University of Central Lancashire.

UCLan today announced plans to significantly increase its provision in Burnley, which is expected to drive the borough's economy forward over the coming years.

Michael Ahern

Michael Ahern

Speaking at a special Burnley Bondholders event at the new Vision Park, next to UCLan's Burnley College campus, the institution's chief operating officer Michael Ahern said that the town would become "a major student destination".

Addressing the guests, Mr Ahern said: "Burnley is quite unusual. You are doing things with drive and determination. You get things done. Our strategy is to contribute to the region. We hope to have 2,000 students in Burnley by 2021 and 4,000 by 2025.

"They will be spending in the local economy and we want them to stay here for work when they eventually graduate."

In a boost to local businesses, the university would be providing a host of degree apprenticeships in courses handpicked by industry leaders desperate to fill a skills gap in technological fields. Health and social care will also be covered, which is aimed to cover shortages in the local health economy.

And further good news was announced in the revelation that UCLan is in advanced talks to make use of the former University Technical College building in Trafalgar Street.

See Friday's Burnley Express for an in-depth feature on the exciting news.