Middlesbrough Council and Teesside University have announced a working partnership on the future development of the university in the town.
A number of exciting plans are being drawn up to help develop the university in the coming years and enhance the lives of its students.
The plans include:
Where appropriate the projects will be subject to thorough consultation with the local community and businesses and approval from the council’s executive and planning committee.
A report to Middlesbrough Council’s Executive by the Council’s Director for Regeneration Kevin Parkes outlines the plans.
The report states the university is a “fundamental foundation” of the economy of Middlesbrough and the wider Tees area.
“Teesside University is one of the main assets of the town and the wider sub-regional economy,” he writes.
It currently employs 1,479 full-time staff and 650 part-time staff.
During 2009/10 the University enrolled 14,000 students from the Teesside area, 11,500 British students from outside the area and 2,000 overseas students.
In 2007 accountants PriceWaterhouse Cooper estimated the University’s total economic impact was worth £815m per year and the University has grown since then.
The report adds: “It draws talent and aspiration into the town for higher education and some of these former students stay to be the future wealth generators in Teesside.
“Students also use their spending power within the local economy and in particular help support significant components of the town economy.”
Despite wholesale changes in the way universities are funded Teesside University aims to remain an attractive destination for students.
The plan to develop a new pedestrian square at the heart of the campus will enhance student experience and the university environment.
“The new square would also be an asset to the town providing an additional public amenity and a continuous safe route for the public to walk through from Albert Road to Albert Park,” the report states.
Servicing and access arrangements to nearby business will be protected and the impact on traffic would need to be taken fully into account by the Council.
It is proposed any prohibition of traffic would be made on an experimental basis first to assess its impact on traffic and businesses.
The Council and the University have also indicated their willingness to jointly fund a multi-storey car park to meet the needs of its students and businesses in the area.
It is proposed work will be carried out to identify a site and draw up designs.
Other plans in the working partnership include securing the future of the Grade II listed Waterhouse Building built in 1877 which was one of the original buildings incorporated into Constantine college which became Teesside University.
There are plans to further develop DigitalCity by spreading the programme to other parts of the Tees Valley and further afield.
The University and Council are also looking at ways to support research and development for the engineering industry linked to the low carbon economy and the planned Advanced Manufacturing Park at South West Ironmasters site.
And the Council and the University have agreed to work closely over the coming years to look at the longer-term accommodation needs of students.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “Teesside University is an incredibly important institution for Middlesbrough and the wider Teesside area.
“The positive influence it has on the educational, economic and cultural life of the town cannot be underestimated.
“All universities are likely to go through some challenging times due to the Government changing how universities will be funded.
“It is therefore vital that the Council looks at ways it can support Teesside University to ensure its future prosperity.”
Morgan McClintock, Teesside University's Secretary and Registrar, said: "The University very much appreciates the constructive dialogue with Middlesbrough Council over the further development of the University.
“As the report says, the University makes a fundamental contribution to the town and the wider community and we look forward to continuing discussions with Council officers and members."
Teesside was the winner of the Times Higher Education’s University of the Year Award in 2009/10 with judges singling out its commitment to working with communities and businesses.
With roots going back to 1929, the University has a proud tradition of meeting the needs of key industrial sectors such as engineering, petrochemicals and, more recently, the digital sector. Its business start-up programme launched over 300 new enterprises in the last decade.
Teesside has five research institutes - Digital Futures Institute; Health and Social Care Institute; Institute of Design, Culture and Arts; Social Futures Institute; and Technology Futures Institute. The University has established higher education centres in Middlesbrough College and the other four further education colleges across the Tees Valley.
Successful Teesside alumni include Marek Reichman, who went on from a first-class degree specialising in product design to become the design director of luxury car company, Aston Martin. He played a key role in producing the DBS model for 007 in the Bond movie, Casino Royale. Dan Walker, an industrial design graduate who worked as a concept artist on Doctor Who and several Disney films. Andy Lomas, who came to Teesside to study for a master’s degree in computer graphical technology after graduating in mathematics from Cambridge University. He worked for leading animation production companies in London and the US, working on The Matrix and Harry Potter films. Sharon Gaytor, top British long distance endurance runner, who gained a sport & exercise master’s degree.