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Work begins on £12.75 million learning hub

Work is underway on Hartpury's brand-new £12.75 million University Learning Hub.

Hartpury staff and governors were joined by Mark Harper MP, Vitruvius and leaders from Forest of Dean District Council, which partnered with Hartpury on the successful Levelling Up Fund bid, for the breaking ground ceremony.

The hub will be at the centre of an immersive higher education experience at Hartpury, creating a two-storey space covering approximately 3048sqm. It is the first new building project exclusively for the institution's growing undergraduate and postgraduate student population.

On the ground floor, students will benefit from an open plan space where they can collaborate with peers, relax after lectures or catch up with friends over a coffee. They'll also be able to access a range of important student support services such as the Innovation, Careers and Enterprise (ICE) team, Academic Registry and Student Services.

The first floor will offer a different environment, where students can take advantage of a quiet, reflective space in which to study. Here, the university library will support students to access the latest research and journal articles and prove a vital point of reference as they progress along their higher education pathway and prepare for employment.

The building will be accessible to students 24/7, 365 days a year and will open for use at the end of 2023. Green roofing and landscaping will ensure the building helps local biodiversity and respects the environment.

The project has been part-funded by the Government's Levelling Up Fund, a result of a local partnership between Hartpury University and Hartpury College, Forest of Dean District Council, Cinderford Town Council and Mark Harper MP. The grant is being used to introduce new health, enterprise, and aspiration opportunities across the Forest. The project will help support the local economy, create jobs and play an important role in raising aspirations for young people in the Forest of Dean and beyond.

Professor Andy Collop, vice-chancellor, principal and CEO of Hartpury, said: "This breaking ground ceremony marks a momentous occasion for Hartpury University, as work starts on a building that will revolve solely around the needs of our higher education students.

"The building will bring our most important higher education student services together in one place, serving their study and social needs, as well as providing access to support and guidance.

"I must thank our friends and partners at Forest of Dean District Council and our local MP Mark Harper, who along with Cinderford Town Council and support from GFirst LEP, helped to secure support for our region from the Levelling Up Fund. The comprehensive plan that also includes developing leisure facilities locally and repurposing vacant buildings, will generate opportunities for the people of the Forest and help to make the region a great place to live, work, study and play."

Photo credit: Martin Cleveland

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