A new £6.9million university campus in Chesterfield was officially opened last night (Thursday), marking a key step in the economic regeneration of the area.
The former St Helena Grammar School on Sheffield Road has now been converted to a bespoke campus for the University of Derby and offers students the latest in training and learning, as well as a place for businesses to develop. The entire cost for the project was £6.9m, £3.48m of which came from D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
The D2N2 LEP works with businesses, skills and training providers, higher and further education providers and local authorities in its area to help create jobs and economic growth. As part of this mission, D2N2 has a £192m allocation of Local Growth Funding (LGF), £3.48m of which was used to help restore the Grade II listed building and provide the new and improved facilities. It is estimated that these will be used by over 1,400 students in the centre’s first five years.
Facilities at the University of Derby’s new Chesterfield Campus include an Innovation Centre, which will allow SMEs to develop new business ideas and a range of facilities to help its students, including a mock hospital ward which will be used to simulate some of the situations healthcare students may encounter when working in the industry.
Alongside the provision of hi-tech training facilities, a large part of the project saw the restoration of its original features. Derby University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell said that the University had invested heavily in keeping true to the traditions of the building, but that such attention to detail had only been possible with the support of funding partners.
Research commissioned by the University of Derby into the economic impact of its Buxton Campus - which this year celebrates a decade since its official opening – showed that it supported 500 jobs annually through a total spend of £32 million, a result which it is hoped will be replicated in Chesterfield.
For more information on the University of Derby’s Chesterfield Campus, visit http://www.derby.ac.uk/campus/campuses/chesterfield/
For more information on how D2N2 is using its Local Growth Fund allocation, and to see what else it is helping to fund, visit www.d2n2lep.org/growth/local-growth-fund
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