The University will seek public views on its 15-year, £1bn investment plan for its campuses in the city centre and at Leahurst in Cheshire.

The masterplan includes a series of new-builds and redevelopment projects to enhance the University’s estate; some of these, including the Digital Innovation Facility designed by IBI, and a £21m Arts & Humanities Centre designed by Ellis Williams Architects, have already come forward.

The University appointed Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios for the masterplan brief in December 2017, ahead of two other shortlisted architects; K2 with Reiach & Hall; and BDP.

Parts of the masterplan include introducing a central green within the campus, and improving existing public space. To achieve this, the University is proposing to remove smaller car parks within its estate and replace these with three multi-storey car parks towards the periphery of the campus.

As well as its central Liverpool campus, the University has also pledged “significant investment” in its Leahurst campus, home to its veterinary institute; these will include major developments for equine care, expanded research facilities, and a redeveloped student skills zone.

Consultation events are due to be held in the coming weeks, beginning on 29 April. Displays will be on show from 29 April to 10 May on the ground floor of the Guild of Students’ building, while representatives from the architect will be available between 12-1pm and 2-3pm on 1 May and 10 May at the same location.

A public consultation session will also take place on 1 May between 5-7pm in the Bronte Youth and Community Centre on Trowbridge Street. Boards and plans will also be available online from 29 April.

The University’s vice-chancellor, Dame Janet Beer, said: “We are proud of our place in the city and of our architectural heritage. Our plans are sensitive to this and provide exciting new opportunities to further enhance the appearance of our campuses and their surroundings.

“Whilst our estate already boasts some world-class facilities and wonderful spaces, we need continued investment to best support our ambitious future plans. This masterplan provides an exciting, clear and coherent vision for our university campuses and includes significant investment which will have a number of positive regional impacts, not least on the economy.

“I’m keen to hear what staff, students and the general public think of these proposals.”

£1.5bn plan is Sheffield’s ‘biggest ever’

Sheffield’s biggest ever development project has been unveiled – a £1.5bn plan to transform the area around Midland station.

The hugely ambitious project would see the closure of Park Square roundabout and Sheaf Street – the dual carriageway that runs in front of the station – would swap places with the tram route that runs behind.

A huge, landscaped pedestrian bridge would link Park Hill with Howard Street and the multi-storey car park on Turner Street would be demolished and moved further away.

It would be replaced by an office block – one of up to 12 planned in the ‘Sheffield Valley’ zone, including four outside the station, employing up to 3,000 people.

Up to 1,000 homes – flats and houses – could also be built.

The total cost of the 20-year scheme is estimated at £1.5bn, dwarfing the £480m Heart of the City II development.

Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and development, said the plan was to maximise the economic potential of the area and make the most of HS2.

“This is the biggest, most ambitious and most expensive development project Sheffield has seen.

“This is about making the most of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail and unlocking private sector development to bring in businesses and jobs.

“It will transform the Sheaf Valley and visitors’ arrival at the station, join Park HIll with the city, connect the station with Heart of the City II and create an entire new quarter for Sheffield.”

The new tram route would run from Fitzalan Square, along Pond Street, stop outside the station and continue along Suffolk Road to Granville Square.

The bus station on Pond Street would be reduced in size to make room for the tram tracks and offices on stilts potentially built on top.

Park Square roundabout and Sheaf Street would become a park and link into the Grey to Green scheme at Victoria Quays, Castlegate and West Bar.

Coun Iqbal said the council would co-ordinate the project. Funding could come from several organisations including the city council, HS2, SYPTE, Transport for the North, Network Rail, Sheffield City Region and the Department for Transport. But the bulk of the costs – up to £1bn – would be from the private sector, which would build the offices, restaurants, bars and potentially a hotel.

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