WORK to build the first university campus in Barrow has started.

Once completed, the site will help attract and retain graduates with higher-level skills that are vital for the area now, and for generations to come, according to The University of Cumbria.

Caddick Construction began work this week and it will continue throughout 2024.

University of Cumbria chief operating officer Mark Swindlehurst said: “This milestone takes us another step closer to developing the first university campus in Barrow-in-Furness. We’re delighted to be working with Caddick Construction and existing partners on a project serving our community in an area of such regional, national and international importance.

“Offering innovative, inclusive facilities and provision, this campus will help transform lives and communities for generations to come. The increased reach and accessibility of higher education in, for and from Barrow means that this campus will have a long-lasting impact, offering new opportunities and inspiration to so many who choose to live, visit, work and study in the area and beyond.” 

The campus will deliver degree programmes aligned initially to areas such as Computer Science, Business Management and Advanced Manufacturing.

Paul Dodsworth, managing director of Caddick Construction Group, explained that the company were looking forward to applying their 'expertise' to the Barrow project.

He said: "Forming part of our team’s preparations to start work on-site, we have been engaging with our local supply chain partners who will support our delivery of work in the coming weeks.” 

Located on a 2.6-hectare site provided by BAE Systems Ltd next to its Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge, the campus is part of the Barrow Learning Quarter (BLQ) that is being created to transform educational opportunities in the area.

HRH The Princess Royal visited the site in November 2023, ceremonially ‘breaking ground’ on the project

The Mail: Princess Anne broke the ground at the site back in NovemberPrincess Anne broke the ground at the site back in November (Image: University of Cumbria)

The facility will provide new teaching spaces, laboratory space, workshops, offices, catering facilities and new landscaping to the immediate area, along with new cycling and car parking facilities. 

Growing its academic provision and research, the University of Cumbria has created a new Institute of Engineering, Computing and Advanced Manufacturing that will be based at the Barrow campus. 

On January 23, the university’s outreach team will be sharing details about a BAE scholarship and course opportunities on offer.

The ‘Barrow Discover Evening’ is taking place at the BAE Systems Careers Inspiration Hub on Portland Walk from 5pm-7pm.