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University of Wolverhampton to open new campus in Stafford

University of Wolverhampton

The announcement comes less than four months after Staffordshire University announced plans to shut its own campus in the town and move 3,000 students to Stoke.

Wolverhampton University chiefs plan to open the doors to the new campus in the summer. They say they will use the hall to house a new advice and information centre for prospective students and provide a range of courses.

The centre will be based in the Grand Hall part of the building.

It is intended that the gallery space will be retained and used for student and community exhibitions alongside existing planned touring exhibitions, as well as the historic court rooms and multi-sensory room, which will remain open to the public.

In December last year the county council revealed plans to move the library and art gallery from the Shire Hall in a bid to save £200,000 a year.

But thousands signed a petition calling for the authority to keep the building in public hands. The library is still set to be moved into the bottom of the council’s Staffordshire Place offices, but campaigners will welcome the news that the all is to be kept open to the public.

The move is part of a plan to encourage more people to take on part time study, without the need to travel to one of the university’s four existing campuses in Wolverhampton city centre, the science park, Walsall or Telford.

Geoff Layer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Part time study was a very traditional model that required students to come to the university. We want to rebuild and expand the part time market with centres in different places.

“We expect to open the first in August in Stafford town centre.We’re also in discussions with Stafford College, which is about 50 yards away, about renting space for more traditional courses.”

Ian Parry, the county council’s deputy leader, said the transformation of the hall would help ensure a ‘vibrant future’ for the Grade II listed building.

“Shire Hall is an important and well-loved building and while there were never any plans to close it, we did want to maximise the potential for the site, and think we have found the perfect fit with the university.” The hall used to house the town’s crown court.

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