Former Newspaper Offices to be Transformed into State-of-the-Art Teaching Facility

Berrows House External - 1
An artists impression of the planned Berrows House transformation.

The University of Worcester has submitted a planning application to develop the former Worcester News building, known as Berrows House, on Hylton Road. 

The large two and three storey 1965 building, designed by Austin-Smith Salmon-Lord Partnership, will become a spacious, flexible, modern teaching facility for health and medical education. Attractively clad, flooded with natural light from the impressive North light roof structures it will become an architectural highlight on the St John’s bank of the River Severn. 

University Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE, said: “The development of this facility will be key in providing inclusive and inspiring learning facilities to educate the next generation of health professionals that this Country so badly needs. This new Centre for Health and Medical Education will bring much-needed jobs and prosperity to the City, creating hundreds of new opportunities to gain a first-class education and vital professional qualifications in a wide variety of health professions including.” 

The plans, drawn up by Midlands-based Glancy Nicholls Architects, include a state-of-the-art anatomy laboratory, a suite of GP simulation rooms, and a range of general seminar and teaching rooms. There will also be offices, break-out spaces for group study and a café. 

Low or Zero Carbon technologies will be utilised throughout the building in line with the University’s environmental and sustainability ethos, with the aspiration of achieving RICS SKA Gold. This top environmental standard for refurbished buildings is rarely achieved but was met by the University in its acclaimed creation of the Art House in Castle Street, from the former 1930s Austin House Motor Garage and Showrooms. The University, named Sustainability Institution of the Year for the UK and Ireland in 2019 and globally commended at the United Nations in 2020, has consistently been one of the UK’s leading environmentally responsible universities. 

The building will also be highly inclusive in line with the University’s commitment to genuine inclusion by design, which saw the nearby University of Worcester Arena win The Guardian’s Buildings That Inspire award in 2015. 

The plans have been submitted to Worcester City Council and will be considered in the New Year. 

The fully refurbished building will be a most significant addition to the University’s Severn Campus, whose focus is on health, wellbeing and inclusive sport. 

The University has an outstanding reputation for educating healthcare professionals and earlier this year was awarded the largest allocation of additional health training places in the Country. As well as those studying across the University’s extensive suite of healthcare courses, including Nursing, Midwifery, Paramedicine, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Physician Associates, the University is hoping that the new building will also provide a centre for its planned Three Counties Medical School, which is currently progressing through the General Medical Council’s approvals and assessment procedures. The University’s application is well advanced and is currently at Stage 4.