Proposal for development of a new University of Cumbria Barrow Campus adjacent to the BAE Systems Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge site on Barrow Island

Introduction

Welcome to the public consultation page for the proposed development of a new University of Cumbria Barrow Campus adjacent to the BAE Systems Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge site on Barrow Island, located to the south-west of the main settlement of Barrow-in-Furness. The land owned by BAE Systems on Barrow Island is currently primarily used by BAE for its manufacturing activities, including the Dreadnought nuclear submarine programme.

The proposed development is a key element of the Barrow Learning Quarter (BLQ), which is a partnership between the University of Cumbria, Furness College, the Borough Council, BAE Systems and local businesses. The BLQ seeks to enhance progression into and participation in Higher Education in Barrow-in-Furness. The new University of Cumbria Barrow Campus seeks to deliver Higher Education locally, focusing on developing higher level skills that are in demand from the advanced manufacturing businesses in and around Barrow and south-west Cumbria.

The BLQ seeks to create an education offer which aids in the development of higher level skills; skills which are currently in demand in Barrow-in-Furness. The BLQ is setting out to achieve three objectives, each of which, it is hoped, will have a transformational impact on people’s outlook and the economic performance of Barrow-in-Furness. These objectives are:

• To develop a workplace-focused and relevant higher education offer that prepares graduates for success in future employment.
• To improve progression from secondary to higher education in a town where opportunities to go to university are well below those nationally.
• To increase the higher education participation rate so it moves towards the England average, improving the future prospects of individuals, especially young people, growing up and living in Barrow-in-Furness.

The Site

The site extends to approximately 2.76 hectares, and is located on Barrow Island to the south-west of the main settlement of Barrow-in-Furness. The BAE Systems land on Barrow Island is primarily used by BAE for its manufacturing activities, including the Dreadnought nuclear submarine programme. The Island also contains areas of terraced housing, traditionally associated with the port facilities, as well as a developing Waterfront Business Park to the south. The ‘Island’ is formed by the sea channel to the south and by three docks to the north and east: Ramsden, Buccleuch and Devonshire.

The proposed site is currently in use by BAE Systems, it is bound to the north by the dock, to the west by the SASK (the BAE System’s Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge) building and to the south and east by allotments and open green space.

The site is located within Flood Zone 1, with parts of the site which front the dock sitting within sections of Flood Zone 2. The site does however benefit from flood defence measures; the water level is under a controlled system that has been manufactured for the departing of sea vessels, therefore placing the site under a very low flood risk. As the site is previously developed with a building of similar scale, flood risk is not anticipated to be an issue, and the forthcoming planning application will be supported by a Flood Risk Assessment to demonstrate that the proposed building will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere. In terms of surface water drainage, a scheme will be proposed comprising the use of sustainable drainage techniques.

The Proposed Development

The proposed development seeks to construct a new University of Cumbria Barrow Campus; a key element of the Barrow Learning Quarter (BLQ), which seeks to deliver Higher Education locally in order to develop higher level skills which are in demand from the advanced manufacturing businesses in and around Barrow-in-Furness and south-west Cumbria.

The new University of Cumbria Barrow Campus will be located on Barrow Island, at the BAE Systems Manufacturing site located next to BAE System’s SASK building. Barrow is described as a ‘cold spot’ for higher education provision, despite a high demand from local employers for graduate level employees.

The BLQ will deliver a new university campus for the University of Cumbria and a skills hub within Barrow Sixth Form College, allowing for a joined-up approach from secondary education into employment and higher education. This will be employer focussed and seeks to engage sixth form students to be embedded within the existing sixth form provision, so increasing the likelihood of take-up. It is hoped that these students can then make the transition from sixth form to a university setting by taking up higher education and employability experiences and activities at the university campus. The university campus will offer an immersive, accessible and locally available higher education experience that these students would otherwise not be able to access. As such, the site’s location adjacent to the BAE System’s SASK building is a strategic decision to optimise the project vision and objectives. The courses which will be available at the University of Cumbria Barrow Campus include:

• BEng / MEng Advanced Manufacturing
• BSc Computing (Digital and Cyber Security)
• BA Business Management
• Programmes in Supply Chain and Logistics
• BSc Project Management
• Graduate Diploma Project Controls

The Proposed Development will include the following:

• A two-storey building with curved roof line, reminiscent of the surface of a submarine, and extensive glazing
• Integrated social space and green infrastructure
• Adaptable teaching space including small capacity rooms, large seminar rooms, specialist teaching labs and interactive learning spaces
• A Gross Internal Floor Area of circa 3,000 sqm
• A mixture of aluminium coated curtain walling, glazing, cladding panels and brickwork plinth

The proposed development is targeted at engaging the local community and existing BAE workforce. Therefore, it is anticipated the majority of trips to and from the site, and therefore parking demand, will either already be on Barrow Island as part of the existing BAE traffic, and/or will be from the local Barrow area. On this basis, it is currently envisaged any parking provided on site would be for teaching staff and visitors only – Curtins continues to work with Cumbria County Council Highways to confirm this. Students and staff alike will be encouraged to travel sustainably through Travel Plan initiatives which focus on encouraging access on foot, by bicycle, using public transport or, in the case of staff, car sharing.

The provision of a high-quality specialist teaching building in Barrow-in-Furness, which would form a key part of the BLQ and provide degree level education, fits firmly within the Council’s key objectives in the Local Plan of increasing local employment, creating diversity in the economy, facilitating and supporting the specialist manufacturing base, increasing education provision and closing the skills gap. Achievement of all of these objectives is made possible by the proposed close links with BAE Systems Manufacturing. Ultimately, the redevelopment of the site for the University of Cumbria will be a beneficial development for Barrow-in-Furness and will achieve a significant number of objectives within the up-to-date Local Plan.

Please click to view PDF versions of the Site Location Plan and Consultation Boards

Providing your Feedback

We would welcome your thoughts on the proposals for the new University of Cumbria Barrow Campus adjacent to the BAE Systems Submarine Academy for Skills and Knowledge site on Barrow Island.

Display boards providing further details on the Proposed Development will be present at The Forum in Barrow-in-Furness [The Forum, 28 Duke Street Barrow-in-Furness LA14 1HH] on Friday 12th November 2021 as part of the ‘Brilliant Barrow’ exhibition. The boards will also be available to view in The Forum’s public area following this event for 1 week.

Please use the feedback form below to submit any comments. Alternatively, comments can be emailed to consultation@dppukltd.com or posted to:
DPP, Studio 012, Haylofts, St Thomas Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LE.

Please submit your comments by Sunday 21st November 2021.

We look forward to receiving your comments on the proposed development.

Feedback Form

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