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£45 Million Estates Investment

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Bangor University has received backing for their plans to invest in and expand the University’s facilities with its ongoing Estates Strategy, by the European Investment Bank (EIB). They are set to receive £45 million for the expansion and modernisation of the University. The total project cost is estimated to be £112 million, with the remainder of the funds being supplied by the University’s own resources, funding from WEFO, the Welsh Assembly Government, and other sources.

Vice Chancellor Professor John G Hughes has said that the money will go towards developments such as:

“the new Pontio building which is due to open in September, the new Marine Centre Wales in Menai Bridge, upgraded halls of residence, improved sports facilities, and renovating the historic main University building. In addition, we have major plans to invest further in our science facilities along Deiniol Road and Dean Street, as well as improvements to the Normal Site”.

The Welsh Government’s Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, hopes that the investments will not only benefit the University but North Wales itself, leading to an increase in state of the art Higher Education institutions in Wales.

“It is a real vote of confidence in the University and will go a long way to ensuring students benefit from the very best academic facilities for many years to come. It is also an example of the tangible positive impact that European funding continues to have in Wales, following on from similar support from the EIB in Swansea University.”

The EIB hopes that the funding will help protect historic buildings, create new social learning spaces, and provide the latest teaching facilities for key faculties at the university. They want to create a relationship between the University and business across Wales, and also build on Bangor’s ever increasing world class expertise in the field of Ocean Sciences.

The investment is said to help the growth of economic development across North Wales. The scheme will also reflect labour market requirements, which will help improve employability for the benefit of both employers and graduates. As well as skill development, energy efficiency is a high priority for the project as well as the revival of the historic and listed buildings used by the University.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Hughes has stated:

“Upgrading teaching, research and accommodation facilities at Bangor University will ensure that future generations of students benefit from excellent academic facilities and a world class student experience.”

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Amy Blackwell

Editor 2014/15, Books Editor 2013/14

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