Levelling Up Secretary of State, Michael Gove, was in Blackpool today (Thursday 19th January) to share the news that the town’s Council will receive £40m from the Levelling Up Fund, following its joint bid with neighbouring Wyre Council. This grant is more than 60 percent of the total cost of the £65m scheme.
The funding from the Levelling Up Fund will help create a new carbon-neutral Multiversity campus. When complete the facility, a partnership between Blackpool Council and Blackpool & the Fylde College in association with Lancaster University, will be able to accommodate well over 2,000 students.
On hearing the news Blackpool South MP Scott Benton said, “We now have the funding we need to create this state-of-the-art multiversity, [which] will provide the people of Blackpool with the skills they need for the jobs of the future.’
There was disappointment, however, as the Council’s ambitious developmental and future-proofing hotel and transport plans were rejected.
Here are further details of the successful bid from Blackpool Council & Wyre Council :
Blackpool Council and Wyre Council are seeking £40m of LUF Round 2 investment to deliver the Multiversity, a new £65m, 11,505 m² flagship, carbon-neutral in operation, education campus in Blackpool’s Talbot Gateway Central Business District (CBD). The project will enable Blackpool and the Fylde College to replace their ageing and unsuitable out-of-town centre facilities with world-class state-of-the-art facilities in the heart of Blackpool town centre. This will be adjacent to the major new town regeneration projects, including the forthcoming DWP Civil Service Hub, and the transport interchange at Blackpool North station greatly increasing accessibility not only from across the Fylde Coast but to the wider North West region.
Blackpool’s Multiversity Campus will act as a beacon to promote higher-level skills, engage employers in curriculum co-design and change perceptions of the town. The Multiversity will increase the College’s capacity to offer more than 70 individual courses expanding the College’s HEI offer and potential student cohort.
The site will provide a cutting-edge response to local, regional, and national priorities, raising the College’s profile regionally. New courses will be developed with Lancaster University, targeting high-level skills growth, including a focus on automation, mobility, artificial intelligence, data, population ageing and sustainability. The Multiversity will become an established part of Lancashire’s higher education landscape, encouraging new learners to engage in upskilling and bringing new technical and professional learning opportunities to the town, leading to higher productivity and greater prosperity for residents.
Siting the Multiversity in this location will create a new institutional asset in an iconic building that will help promote Blackpool’s renaissance, and will dramatically increase town centre footfall and vibrancy year-round.