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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Blackpool’s vision of a state-of-the-art education campus in the heart of the town centre is now moving towards reality

New images of the new Multiversity, a carbon-neutral, education campus in Blackpool’s Talbot Gateway Central Business District have been revealed, showing the scale of the landmark development which had been gifted £40 million of Levelling Up funding.

This allows Blackpool and the Fylde College to replace out of town centre facilities with world-class state-of-the-art one in the heart of the town centre.

The Multiversity will promote higher-level skills, helping residents in Blackpool secure jobs for the future.

Key benefits of the project include:

· Improving skills and opportunities – The investment in a new, high-quality, purpose-built educational facility will provide an unrivalled learning environment, encouraging more learners to choose to continue with their education in Blackpool. A tailored curriculum, catering for needs of employers in order to fill skills gaps across the Fylde Coast, means the Multiversity, by virtue of what is taught there, will link directly to employment opportunities.

· Supporting town centre regeneration – The development of the Multiversity adjacent to the town centre will complement other major developments, including the developments at Talbot Gateway, the extension to the Houndshill Shopping Centre and the new Winter Gardens Conference and Exhibition Centre, in providing year-round footfall into the town centre, reducing the impacts of seasonality.

· Built environment uplift – The Multiversity’s development will provide uplift to an area that has not previously benefitted from significant investment, improving the built environment significantly, and supporting the creation of high-quality, pedestrianised, public open space.

Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Councillor Lynn Williams said:

“We are really pleased to be able to confirm that we will be receiving £40 million from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for our Multiversity scheme.

“Our regeneration plans for the town have been ongoing for more than 10 years now.

“The awarding of this money is testament to the continual and tireless work to make these plans a reality for the people of Blackpool. Our priority is to provide decent, secure jobs for local people, encourage economic growth and to enable locals – young and old – to make the most of the opportunities available.

“£40m will go towards providing a new world-class university experience for residents which would be carbon neutral in its operation. The new learning environment would facilitate upskilling, reskilling and lifelong learning within the town. Our town revitalisation plans will also be supported by bringing many students into the heart of Blackpool. The learning opportunities will be linked directly to local job opportunities filling any skill gaps across the Fylde Coast.

“Multiversity will be delivered through a partnership involving Blackpool Council and Blackpool and the Fylde College in association with Lancaster University. It will accommodate approximately 2,300 learners with many able to gain higher-level qualifications.

“It is heartening to know that our vision for the regeneration of our town has been recognised by central Government and we will continue to work with them and our partners across the town to make this vision a reality.

“Things are really tough for some of our residents right now but there is hope for the future, I am fully committed to making Blackpool better for all who live, work and visit our incredible town”.

Bev Robinson CBE, OBE, Principal and Chief Executive, Blackpool and the Fylde College said:

“We are delighted by today’s Levelling Up announcement that includes Multiversity, Blackpool.

“Multiversity will further enhance Higher Education opportunities for our communities across the Fylde whilst contributing to the regeneration of the town centre.  Both businesses and residents will benefit from Multiversity; delivering a highly skilled workforce that supports local and regional businesses to flourish and residents to gain rich career opportunities. This investment demonstrates the power of collaboration with our valued partner, Blackpool Council. Multiversity is great news for Blackpool.”

Following the announcement this morning, Councillor Michael Vincent, Leader of Wyre Council said:

“We are delighted to hear the announcement today. This project is a unique proposition, providing a cutting edge response to location, regional and national priorities. The proposed world class university experience is of significant importance to both Wyre and Blackpool residents and will benefit the whole Fylde coast. Creating a higher education campus in Blackpool town centre will be much more accessible, helping to remove barriers and open up more opportunities to university level education for our residents.”

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