Campus plans 'will revitalise area'
A new £250 million university building will help revitalise part of Belfast, the architect behind the project said.
Artist's impression images of an expanded University of Ulster (UU) campus, the size of Victoria Square, in the north of the city centre have been released.
The York Street site will house 15,000 full and part-time students and staff from Jordanstown and Belfast. Construction is expected to start in 2013 and the first students will move in by 2015.
UU vice chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said: "We are proposing a world-class campus in the heart of the city which will not only provide a dynamic learning and research environment for our students and staff but will also interact with the wider public."
The design is dominated by glass fronting and is built at different levels to complement existing buildings like St Patrick's Church in Donegall Street.
It will be approximately 75,000 square metres in size, on York Street and Frederick Street stretching to North Queen Street and include four linked buildings with entrances from York Street, a reopened York Lane and Frederick Street.
Professor Barnett added: "The university believes education is critical to the economy of the city and the region as a whole.
"By coming into the city centre we want to bring education closer to the business community, providing a resource on their doorstep where we can explore and develop innovative ideas and exploit global connections."
The university submits its planning application later this month and hopes the accelerated planning process will be complete after six months.
Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry said: "Higher education has a vitally important role to play in growing our economy and this project underlines the university's commitment to this goal."