A South Wales university is embarking on a major expansion of its city centre campus and has unveiled plans for a new community college. University of Glamorgan this week appointed a design team for its £15m ATRiuM2 campus in the city, which will cater for the growing demand for specialised graduates in creative media and financial services.
Meanwhile plans to takeover an empty office block in the city centre, previously occupied by The Royal Bank of Scotland, have also emerged. The university recently submitted a planning application seeking change of use of Atlantic House West on Tyndall Street, which has been empty for the past eight months.
According to the plans, the university wants to use the four-storey building to provide an education facility for 16 to 18-year-olds.
It is proposed occupation will be phased over a three-year period beginning this month. However, given permission has yet to be granted, this would appear unlikely. Initially, the plans state, the building will be occupied by students from the School of Creative and Cultural Industries.
From September 2013, students from the School of Law, Accounting and Finance would move in along with pupils from a new community college. From 2014, a new intake of first year community college students would be taught in the buildings, while University of Glamorgan students would be relocated to ATRiuM 2.
In the first phase, about 100 students will be taught at Atlantic House, but at full capacity the building will cater for 700 students.
A university spokesman yesterday declined to comment about the planning application.
The application says the building, which was vacated by RBS in January, has only had one viewing this year. It says the lack of interest was unlikely to increase, especially with the neighbouring new office developments at Driscoll Buildings and the Capital Quarter.
“Permitting the change of use to an education facility would not only bring the building back to beneficial occupation but would create employment opportunities in the form of the college’s admin staff along with teachers and lecturers,” it states.
“It is anticipated that the change of use will create up to 10 full time jobs once at full occupation. Furthermore, the change of use will provide a much needed education facility for 16 to 18-year-olds.”
Boyes Rees Architects will partner Nicholson Jones as civil/structural engineering consultants, and McCann & Partners as electrical engineers, for the ATRiuM 2 project, which will rise up next to the existing ATRiuM on Adam Street. The development will cater for a growing demand for graduates in creative media and financial services.
Vice Chancellor Julie Lydon said: “Our decision to expand our campuses in Cardiff and invest further in the valleys reflects the demand of employers and our confidence that we are the university of choice for both students and the business community.” (Wales Online)