UCLan awarded additional funding for Engineering Innovation Centre

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been handed the maximum amount permitted from a government pot of £200m to fund science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching capital projects.

UCLan EICUCLan will receive £5m from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) which will go towards the new state-of-the-art Engineering and Innovation Centre (EIC) due to open in January 2018.

The funding is in addition to £20m that the university will invest into the project to create an internationally competitive engineering facility that will be equipped to the highest standard and bring together the region’s expertise from within academia and industry.

UCLan is one of 73 universities to be given the cash boost, with £5m being the maximum amount awarded to any one institution. The scheme is intended to ensure that higher education responds effectively to the increase in demand for STEM studies by developing facilities that will support an increased flow of highly employable graduates into industry.

Rob Wallace, dean of the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, commented: “We are delighted to receive the maximum amount of funding available from HEFCE as part of this scheme. Not only will it provide a great financial boost to the EIC project, it also confirms that UCLan’s educational vision for STEM development is in-line with the government’s Industrial Strategy.

“The UCLan EIC will help plug an important skills gap, encourage inward investment and support the local and regional economy. It is an exciting and ambitious project and the extra funding will enable us to train the next generation of highly-skilled engineering leaders and support the delivery of the economic priorities set out by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.”

Vince Cable, secretary of state for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Inspiring young people to take up STEM courses is vital to the success of the UK economy. This investment will mean world-class teaching facilities to build tomorrow's skilled workforce. It's just one way we are ensuring the UK remains a world leader in science and research, as set out in this week's Science and Innovation strategy.” The UCLan EIC is due for completion in January 2018.