Glasgow university expansion masterplan given go ahead

A masterplan to expand Glasgow University, which would involve demolishing the city's old Western Infirmary, has been given the green light.

A visualisation of Glasgow University's redeveloped Gilmorehill Campus. Pic: AECOM/7N Architects
A visualisation of Glasgow University's redeveloped Gilmorehill Campus. Pic: AECOM/7N Architects

Glasgow City Council’s planning committee last week granted planning permission in principle to the masterplan, which would provide the planning framework for the redevelopment of the university’s Gilmorehill Campus.

The university wants to extend the campus onto the site of the former Glasgow Western Infirmary in the city’s West End.

The masterplan, prepared by consultancy AECOM with 7N Architects, involves the provision of up to 85,000 square metres of learning, teaching and research space.

According to the university, the new development would "transform the West End of the city" and create 2,000 to 3,000 new jobs.

This first phase would see the demolition of the Western Infirmary buildings and the construction of the new building, including a learning and teaching hub, a research hub and an "Institute of Health and Wellbeing" to improve public health.

The second phase, expected to start in 2023, proposes delivering new teaching and research space for engineering and an "Innovation Quarter" to improve engagement with local industry and promote the creation of new companies.

It would also include a building for research into chronic disease and a "Social Justice Hub" to lead research in the elimination of global inequalities.

According to AECOM, the masterplan aims to "integrate the historic core of the campus with the surrounding neighbourhoods to the west and form a new frontage to Kelvingrove Park to the south".

Professor Anton Muscatelli, the university’s principal and vice-chancellor, said the scheme "will be a major economic driver for the city and for Scotland as well as underpin this university’s world-leading position".

He added: "The decision to approve the masterplan is pivotal to allowing us to start this development."

"This will be one of the biggest educational infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history."

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