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The Learning Quarter

The Learning Quarter

The ambitious Learning Quarter project aims to create more opportunities for people in Barrow and the surrounding areas to access further and higher education.

The Learning Quarter is closely aligned with the needs of local employers, improving job prospects in Barrow and enhancing the competitiveness of businesses.

It will see more than 1,400 places created for students at a new University of Cumbria campus on Barrow Island along with a further 300 at an expanded and upgraded facility at Furness College’s Rating Lane site.

BAE Systems Ltd are providing the land for the new university campus with final images of what the building might look like already shared. 

Creating a full university presence in Barrow that attracts and retains talented graduates with high-level skills is vital for the area that is performing well economically and set to expand further in areas such as advanced manufacturing, business, computing, education and health.

University of Cumbria academics are working with partners to identify and design a range of degree-level programmes for learners ranging from digital and cyber security to project management and supply chain and logistics.

Full planning permission was secured from Barrow Borough Council in March 2023 and a Caddick Construction has been appointed as the contractor. Work on site is now underway. 

At Rating Lane, a significant update and expansion programme will be carried out to create a Skills Hub and increase the number of student places by more than 300, to a total of 800. Work at the Rating Lane site is underway with completion earmarked for mid-2024.

As well as retaining local students who have recently completed A-Levels or T-Levels – who might otherwise have left the area to study – the Learning Quarter will also attract learners from outside of the area.

It will build on the long-term partnership between the University of Cumbria and Furness College, creating new opportunities for personal education and for business growth.

The wider benefits of the Learning Quarter are linked to the prosperity of the town centre, as it will lead to increased resident population and therefore more people spending in the local economy.

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