The largest building EVER to be built in our town, is almost constructed and will open its doors in September 2018. Indeed some students have already taken up courses and started on 3rd September.
We’re talking of course about the ‘University of the West of Scotland‘ (UWS) new state of the art buildings in High Blantyre, forming a new student campus being built at the back of the Technology Park.
The arrival of a University in Blantyre heralds a massive economic boost, some estimating to be worth £443million to the local economy over the next 25 years.
Although currently closed off to the public, we were given exclusive access in June for a look around. It’s a hugely impressive building, vast in scale and fitting for students of the 21st Century. The building is clad in black and grey, a departure from the surround brick and glass of the nearby Technology Park.
UWS is hidden from the main road, a planning consideration carefully made, with access only from the Hamilton Technology Park, not from Sydes Brae. It offers state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities, eventual student accommodation, Students’ Union, and specialist laboratory space. It opens up a world of possibilities for further education.
The whole endeavour has been founded on the basis of being eco-friendly. The grounds of the ‘eco-campus’ are expansive and with planting done last summer, it’s already established with small trees, bushes and hedgerows decorating the campus. The University is also built upon a massive underground carpark, almost undetectable and screened by greenery.
Contractors started work on the 38 acre Greenfield back in 2016 with a huge effort made to get the building open on time. The University exists already but was based in Hamilton near Almada Street in a building no longer fit for their purpose. Students are going to move to the new University, which will have space for almost 4,000 people.
Completion of the Project
Construction work is almost at an end and staff are expected to relocate from the former University building in Hamilton over to the High Blantyre site in August 2018, with students following in September.
This will be a real jobs boost for Blantyre and surrounding areas, not just in terms of maintenance, but in all roles required for the operation of the facility. It’s yet ANOTHER example of Blantyre ‘on the up’ and acquiring an excellent asset to be proud of in our area (although frustratingly we’ve heard UWS being incorrectly described already as being ‘in Hamilton’….. It’s firmly, well within High Blantyre.
The Youth of Blantyre may be excited to learn that a state of the art university will be beside their homes, bringing short commutes, excellent standards of further education, extra curricular activities and a student union, all on our doorstep!
The arrival of Blantyre’s very first University has also meant a rethink about public transport with a bespoke green travel plan already up and running with new excellent bus routes #1 from Hamilton and #2 from East Kilbride running to the Technology Park.
We’ll be covering the small official opening ceremony of the University on 18th September 2018.
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