University of Central Lancashire

After substantial research and development work UCLan has finalised plans for the expansion of all aspects of its engineering work - from academic and skills provision to research, innovation and business support. The University has committed £16m + of its own funds and has secured over £15m of external investment in addition to this.

The vision is to exploit the University’s location, at the centre of one of the most important engineering/manufacturing areas in the UK and establish UCLan as a leading university for engineering innovation. This will be achieved through the development of a new Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC), complete with dedicated buildings that will facilitate a step change in UCLan/industry engagement and enable an integrated approach to teaching, research and knowledge exchange. These new plans will result in higher education provision in Lancashire more closely reflecting the economic priorities of the business community.

The EIC will encourage a culture of close working with industrial and academic stakeholders. The EIC will promote a true interdisciplinary approach to engineering and be underpinned by new facilities and capability, creating a distinctive offering in an evolving marketplace. It will build upon existing strengths in engineering and align with the growth opportunities within the local, national and international economy. The EIC is strongly aligned to the full range of priorities set out within Lancashire LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.

The construction of a state-of-the-art Engineering Innovation Centre at the Preston campus will provide a long term economic development asset, directly supporting the industries which both underpin the prosperity of the Lancashire economy and play an important role in the UK’s industrial base.

This will result in:

  • An expanded engineering school at UCLan, with the capacity to accommodate in excess of 800 undergraduates.
  • An increase in applied, industry relevant research, with PhD and post-doctoral work linked to key Lancashire manufacturing sub sectors and specialisms, directly supporting the engineering business base in Lancashire and the North West.
  • A long term programme of SME and supply chain engagement, innovation and business development support, with companies able to access state of the art equipment and testing facilities
  • An increase in the number of graduate engineers each year in Lancashire, providing Lancashire employers with a source of locally trained new graduates.
  • An increase in the number of local young people and, in particular the proportion of females, choosing to take up engineering at a local university.
  • The EIC will create GVA and employment, increasing in each of the 15 years of the new facility