Revealed: New University plans for Newham

University College London and Newham Council have this morning (Wednesday) announced plans to explore the establishment of a new campus for UCL in the Olympic borough of Newham, in addition to the University’s Bloomsbury location.

Under the terms of the agreement signed by UCL and Newham Council, both parties now have six months to progress proposals for the development, which could include teaching and research space as well as additional community, residential and commercial space. The proposed site is within the Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood, east of the Olympic Park, which has been earmarked for redevelopment since 2010.

The development proposed would be consistent with Newham Council’s Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan as well as UCL’s Bloomsbury Masterplan published last week, which sets out UCL’s vision for developing its estate. It is anticipated that the Mayor of Newham and Cabinet will consider the proposals developed in mid-2012. There is no obligation from either Newham Council or UCL to proceed with the plans after this date.

All proposals will take into account existing commitments made by the Council to those people affected by the re-housing programme. Residents and stakeholders in the area will be consulted on the plans, and UCL has established an academic representative committee to lead engagement on the proposals across the University.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “This is an exciting and ambitious proposition which offers great opportunities for Newham and we look forward to working with UCL. This development of world-class academic facilities in Stratford would create a wealth of benefits for the local area, the borough and East London as a whole. With leading educational institutions already firmly established in the area, another university would inspire Newham youngsters to look at the wider opportunities available to them. As well as presenting employment opportunities, a new campus will provide a significant boost to the local economy and provide a lasting legacy for the community.

“Newham Council is committed to redeveloping the Carpenters Neighbourhood to ensure the delivery of a high quality, educational community for the benefit of existing residents and the wider community. In any negotiations going forward, local residents will not lose out.”

Professor Malcolm Grant, UCL President and Provost, said: “The Carpenters Neighbourhood proposal represents a great opportunity for UCL, creating an additional new campus at the heart of the Olympic Legacy with excellent transport links to our existing facilities.

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“As a world-leading university, UCL has ambitious growth plans for the coming years, but we are constrained in our central London location in meeting the demand for suitable space to support the development of world-class teaching and research.

“UCL has a strong record of engaging with our local community in Bloomsbury, and working effectively with local councils, schools, community groups and businesses.

“The challenges of delivering this exciting vision will be substantial, but the regeneration potential is of great significance for the local community, the Olympic Legacy and the economy of London as a whole.”