Scheme to offer locals courses tailored to local employment needs

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Aerial view of the three blocks which will make up the ‘multiversity’

Hawkins Brown has submitted plans for a £65m higher education campus in the centre of Blackpool.

The three-block ‘multiversity’ on the corner of Cookson Street and George Street would offer more than 70 courses directly linked to local employment needs.

Supported by a £40m grant by the government’s levelling up fund, the campus aims to promote higher-level skills, helping Blackpudlians secure jobs for the future through providing a high-quality purpose-built educational facility.

The 1.16ha scheme will require the demolition of two blocks of mostly late 19th century and early 20th century terraced housing, which Blackpool council is intending to acquire.

The council would then build out the site and lease it to Fylde College, which would relocate from out of town premises as part of the £350m Talbot Gateway regeneration of the area around Blackpool North train station.

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The scheme has been backed by a £40m grant from the government’s levelling up fund

Hawkins Brown said in planning documents that its vision for the project is to create an “iconic building that sings Blackpool”.

The multiversity building would be the first phase of the wider mixed use scheme which is envisaged to see the construction of 32,600 sqm of education and commercial space.

The project team includes cost consultant CBRE, structural engineer Civic Engineers, planning consultant Avison Young, fire engineer Hydrock, facade engineer Fortis and environment consultant Egniol.

Other developments under construction nearby, including the 144 bedroom Holiday Inn and transport interchange, and the Civil Service Hub, which will bring an additional 3,000 professional workers to the area when it opens in 2025.

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Two blocks of terraced housing will be acquired by the council and demolished to make way for the campus