Plans to redevelop a former industrial estate to create a first-class campus for Health, Wellbeing and Inclusive Sport are to be put forward by the University of Worcester.
These new facilities will join the award-winning University of Worcester Arena and the adjoining Riverside building in creating an outstanding, exciting new ‘Severn Campus’, bordering and connecting to the Riverside Park, which Worcester City Council is working to create.
Work is already under way to redevelop the former Berrows House building into a state-of-the-art teaching facility for health professional students studying nursing, midwifery, medicine, paramedicine, physiotherapy, sports therapy and occupational therapy as well as those studying to become Physician Associates. The University is currently applying for accreditation of the new Three Counties Medical School. If successful, medical students will study in this building.
It is intended that the Severn Campus will also become home to the long-planned International Inclusive Cricket and Education Centre, along with further teaching facilities. The International Inclusive Cricket Education Centre, which has been designed in close consultation with the England Cricket Board, will provide a national home for all forms of disability cricket as well as outstanding net and practice facilities for local cricket loving youngsters in particular as well as male and female cricketers of all abilities.
As with the University’s other facilities, the campus will be available to the local community on an organised basis. There will also be special facilities designed in to promote exercise as part of supervised rehabilitation programmes after some episodes of heart attack, stroke and physical injury.
Professor David Green CBE DL, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “The development of the Severn Campus will build on our outstanding work to educate students to work in a variety of health and wellbeing professions, from medicine to inclusive sport.
“The University is the major educator of the nurses and midwives who serve Herefordshire and Worcestershire, as well as much of Gloucestershire, Dudley and Halesowen. The desperate shortage of health professionals in the region and much of the country means that we have been allocated several hundred extra places a year for health professional students – particularly nurses – and we need to expand our clinical simulation facilities. At the same time, the University is well advanced in our work to create the Three Counties Medical School. This new Medical School will serve the people of the region and play a key role in ending the chronic shortage of medical professionals in Worcester and beyond. These students will also need new facilities.
“For several years now, the University has been working with England Disability Cricket, the Worcestershire Cricket Board and County Cricket Club and the England Cricket Board on a project to create the world’s first inclusive cricket education centre. This centre will provide both an important national facility and plentiful opportunities for children and the wider community in Worcester and beyond to gain educational, cricket and well-being skills.”
The University will be making a planning application in the coming weeks to install important infrastructure at the site that will improve pedestrian, wheelchair and cycling connectivity between the Riverside, Sabrina Bridge and St John’s. The plans will also include the installation of formalised parking, including electric vehicle and cycle parking provision, improved access into and through the Campus (including to improve flood emergency procedures), and additional green infrastructure, for the whole of the Severn Campus.
Ahead of the planning application submission, the University would like to hear from the community about its proposals and has set up a questionnaire which people can complete on its website www.worcester.ac.uk/capital-developments
Following this consultation, all comments received will be considered ahead of the submission for full planning permission to the council for further detailed consideration. The University intend to submit the planning application as soon as possible.