London Met uni plans: Islington invited to share thoughts on controversial campus
PUBLISHED: 14:11 16 March 2016 | UPDATED: 08:53 17 March 2016
Neighbours of London Metropolitan University in Holloway Road are invited to share their views on its controversial new campus.
Early ideas about the £125 million campus are currently on display in the Graduate Centre, Holloway Road, and the university will be hosting a public viewing tonight (Wednesday).
Visitors to the open evening will be able to leave feedback on the concepts, or can contribute to the consultation discussion online. The display is available to view on the London Met website for those who cannot attend the open evening.
Announced last year, the project will see the Islington campus in Holloway Road expanded and the university’s buildings in east London closed down, sparking the anger of staff and students.
Currently, visual arts, architecture, business and law courses are taught in Aldgate and Moorgate, while the other courses are taught in Holloway Road.
The designs – the result of 30 consultation sessions – were produced by Design Engine Architects, who have been commissioned to develop a master plan for the future campus.
“These early concepts explore how we can do this, but we really want to hear local people’s views,” said John Ridgett, director of Design Engine.
“These are not final plans but are concepts about the potential development of the campus.
“They are based on our analysis of the current estate and the feedback we’ve received so far during the consultations.”
But while the university insists the new plans will have a positive impact, some students and staff are concerned the move will result not only in courses being dropped but also in cuts to staff jobs and student places.
Last year, thousands of people signed a petition opposing the plans, while a string of smaller protests included a group of people who spent nine days occupying the Cass School of Architecture in Commercial Road.
Speaking this week, Prof John Raftery, vice chancellor of London Met, insisted the university would have a positive impact on the local community. “We want to make London Met the capital’s community university,” he said, “with our cafes, libraries and exhibition spaces more open to the people of Islington and members of the public who will benefit from them.
“These early concepts explore how we can do this, but we really want to hear local people’s views. I hope members of the local community can join us on Wednesday to look at these early ideas and share their thoughts with us.”
The viewing will be held from 5pm to 7.30pm at the Graduate Centre, London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, N7 8DB.
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