New UCL Campus Plans in East London
University College London (UCL), the UK’s fourth highest ranking institution, has begun talks with Newham Council regarding a second campus in East London.
The area of East London is currently undergoing vast regeneration and expansion as a result of the 2012 Olympic Games, and sites such as Westfields Stratford Shopping Centre. The new UCL proposal would also mean area would receive hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment.
The 20-acre site currently being considered for the UCL plans is the residential area of Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood, situated to the east of the Olympic Park. However, redeveloping the area would involve relocating an entire residential estate, which may cause friction.
One of the proposed ideas for the new East London site is to build halls of residence. Students can then travel to the existing campus in Bloomsbury, thanks to the recent transport developments from Stratford. Another option is purpose-built research facilities and teaching space, along with office space for administrative staff.
UCL’s current Bloomsbury location has become somewhat restricted, as it is situated within one of Britain’s most expensive districts. Furthermore, a large proportion of the building's architecture is listed, which restricts certain forms of redevelopment.
Andrew Grainger, Director of UCL Estates told the times, “While we are still seeing significant opportunities here in Bloomsbury, the extent of our expansion capacity is constrained by being in a Central London location and by the nature of the buildings here. It is early days but we are really excited by the prospect of what could be achieved in Stratford.”
East London seems to be the obvious choice due to its current schemes and updated transport system. Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales is in favour of the plans as it would provide the area with a lasting educational legacy and wider opportunities for younger residents in the future.
Whether there will be opposition from current residents of Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood remains to be seen. Search Office Space will keep you updated on any further developments regarding these expansion plans.
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