The University of Wolverhampton is in negotiations to buy the former Springfield Brewery site in the city centre. The deal is expected to unlock £70m investment in the site, transforming it into a school and business campus.
Plans for the West Midlands Construction University Technical College (UTC), which the university is sponsoring along with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), have been submitted to Wolverhampton City Council. The application seeks to convert part of the Springfield Brewery site and build a three-storey extension to create the UTC with parking and external hard surfaced sports, play and teaching spaces.
The plans include refurbishing the existing Grade II listed building on site and preserving the old entrance gates. The Springfield site has been vacant since 1991 when the brewery closed.
The UTC will provide education for 600 secondary pupils specialising in construction and the application of IT in the built environment. It will prepare students for professional and technical careers in construction. Led by the CITB and co-sponsored by the University of Wolverhampton, it will open in September 2015 on a temporary site at Northicote School before moving to the new site at Springfield in September 2016.
The university also plans to relocate its own School of Architecture & the Built Environment to Springfield. Plans for this will be submitted at a later stage.
Vice-chancellor Geoff Layer said: “This is a really exciting development for the city of Wolverhampton and the West Midlands as a whole. The plans will enable us to transform the Springfield site into a centre of excellence for construction, providing skills and training for future leaders of the industry.
“Universities are economic anchors in the communities they serve, and we see our role as driving forward regeneration, creating jobs and meeting the needs of business and industry. We are delighted to be working with the CITB on this project, which is set to transform the site and become a real focal point for the city.”