Final green light for new £100m LJMU site

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Former Royal Mail base to be turned in to a £100m university hub. PIC © Elle Spencer

Former Royal Mail base to be turned into a £100m university hub. Pic by Elle Spencer © JMU Journalism

A key decision on whether a former postal sorting office is to become a new £100 million Liverpool John Moores University campus has been made in the uni’s favour.

LJMU planners want the former Royal Mail base on Copperas Hill to be a single, large university hub, uniting existing campuses together as part of its vision for the future.

Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee gave a positive verdict at Liverpool Town Hall today, after LJMU officials have been working towards the scheme since the university acquired the building in 2011.

The site space will be increased from its existing 280,000 sq.ft. to 355,000 sq.ft, making it more than twice the size of the Redmonds Building on Brownlow Hill. The development is intended to unite the university and its 37 different locations, creating a site for students to come together as one “connected university village”.

LJMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill said he believes that students require more than just a classroom to achieve a true university experience.

An artists impression of what the Copperas Hill sight could look like. PIC © Elle Spencer

An artist’s impression of what the Copperas Hill site could look like. Pic © LJMU

He said: “Sometimes the term ‘transformational’ is overused but the impact of the new development at Copperas Hill cannot be over-estimated. Importantly for LJMU it will revolutionise the student experience and the physical shape of the university but it will also have a highly positive effect on the city itself.

Also championing the scheme, LJMU Chancellor, Sir Brian Leveson, previously told JMU Journalism: “It is important to become a much more coherent whole rather than a collection of pieces. Developing Copperas Hill and developing the university will cement that coherence.”

The sorting office was purpose-built in 1977 for the Royal Mail and once housed more than 600 employees. LJMU believes the building will be ready for use at the start of the academic year in 2018.

About Elle Spencer, JMU Journalism