The University of Central Lancashire’s educational plans and investment in Burnley have been commended as a fine example of the Northern Powerhouse in action.
The comments came from Jake Berry, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, as he toured the university’s recently acquired and refurbished Victoria Mill on Friday.
The facility forms part of UCLan’s plans to generate a ten-fold increase in the number of university students studying at its Burnley campus by 2025.
Mr Berry said: “The rapid expansion of the University of Central Lancashire and their state-of-the-art training facilities in Burnley are great examples of the Northern Powerhouse providing young people with the skills and training they need to flourish in a globally competitive economy.”
Mr Berry toured the educational facilities of Victoria Mill accompanied by Dr Ebrahim Adia UCLan Burnley provost; Mick Cartledge, chief executive of Burnley Council; Coun. John Harbour, Executive member for housing and environment and Dharma Kovvuri, UCLan’s dean of Burnley Campus.
The Minister was also shown the area on the banks of the canal where purpose-built student accommodation is to be built.
Dr Adia, said: “The Minister was really enthusiastic about our educational ambitions and aspirations for the future prosperity of Burnley and the wider region. The Government is placing a strong emphasis on degree apprenticeship programmes, linked closely with local employers and skills needs, and we explained that these programmes will play a major part in the university’s educational offer here in Burnley and Pennine Lancashire.”
Burnley Council leader Mark Townsend added: "It is great to see the Northern Powerhouse Minister recognising the expansion of UCLan in Burnley and the partnership it has with Burnley Council which will see the number of students in the town grow to 4,000. UCLan's expansion plans will have a significant impact on Burnley's economy."