University Centre Shrewsbury site named

Shrewsbury Guildhall Image copyright Google
Image caption Students are expected to start courses at the Guildhall in September 2015

A location has been put forward for a new university in Shrewsbury.

Part of the University of Chester, the first courses are expected to start at University Centre Shrewsbury in September 2015.

The plans have been backed by Shropshire Council, and its Guildhall, in Frankwell, has been identified as the main site for teaching.

Proposals for the building will go before full council for approval next week.

The local authority said part of the Guildhall was already empty and it could be made available from 1 January.

It said any council staff, including customer services, would move to other buildings.

Student accommodation

The former reference library on Castle Gates has also been identified for use as the university's library.

Rowley's House in the town is already being used as a base for the University of Chester and the first post graduate students are due to move in over the next few weeks.

The council said Frankwell and Abbey Foregate car parks had been ruled out as immediate options for new student accommodation, partly due to the risk of flooding.

Instead, accommodation will be handled by a private contractor until long-term plans are made.

The undergraduate curriculum is going through the final stages of authorisation, while Shropshire council said the name University Centre Shrewsbury had been agreed after discussions with the government.

Initially catering for 400 students, council leader Keith Barrow said it was expected to ultimately increase to 2,000 and could provide about £60m a year for the local economy.

The council said it hoped the university would ultimately become self-governing and independent of the University of Chester.

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