A CGI of the STEM facility in Carlisle
Richard Bell

University of Cumbria secures £784k boost for new STEM facility

The University of Cumbria has landed a six-figure boost to deliver phase two of its laboratory development in Carlisle.

The £784k in funding, awarded by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, will allow the university to extend its science laboratories at the Fusehill Campus with a second floor.

With planning consent already in place, the new facilities are due to be fully operational by September 2016.

The director of the Cumbria LEP, Graham Haywood, said: “This funding supports Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s commitment to ensuring that the county has a vibrant skills system that is able to respond to the current and future needs of our economy.

“In the next 10 years, Cumbria will attract over £25bn of inward investment in sectors such as advance manufacturing, nuclear and biopharmaceuticals. This will create a huge local demand for science graduates, and people with science skills.”

He continued: “The new courses the university will offer will help young people gain the qualifications they will need to access these jobs, and will provide businesses with a much-needed supply of skilled staff.”

Speaking further, Graham said he believes the university’s centre of learning will give Cumbria’s economy “a significant long-term boost”.

Work on the lab extension will begin next month. As with the scheme’s initial phase, the chosen contractor, Portakabin, will build the second level off site before hoisting it into position over the first.

The University of Cumbria’s vice chancellor, Prof. Peter Strike, commented: “We would like to thank the Cumbria LEP for their generous support to our STEM project.

“The overall investment strengthens the university’s ambition to be the lead provider of science related courses in the region.”

He added: “The skills and knowledge students acquire from studying degrees in STEM subjects at the university, together with professional body accreditation, will enhance their employability prospects and create a wider pool of skilled graduates to supply the regional economy.”

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