The University of Ulster today unveiled its vision for the future of its campus at Jordanstown.
With the University due to relocate the bulk of its activity from Jordanstown to a new enlarged BelfastCity Campus by 2018, the Masterplan envisages:
:: Ulster will spend £6.2 million on enhancing its sports facilities at Jordanstown, with a new sports hall adjacent to the £13 million High Performance Centre opened by Lord Coe in 2008 and used by Northern Ireland's Olympic and Paralympic athletes, the Ulster rugby squad, the Ireland cricketteam, leading soccer and county club GAA squadsand European Tour golfers.
:: The proposed relocation of the sports pitches closer to the sports centre. The sports centre will also include teaching and learning and researchfacilities.
:: The retention of the specialist engineering facility, FireSERTwhere the Institute of Fire Safety Engineering Research and Technology carries out internationally recognised research into fire safety science.
:: The retention of the Dalriada student village.
It is also proposed that:
:: The main Jordanstown building and car park will be replaced by an urban village-style residential development, including mixed use community facilities, enhancing the area and creating an exciting and vibrant place to live.
:: The village centre development, with accessible open public space, will comprise of a mix of residential, retail and commercial accommodation, offering the opportunity for local employment.
:: Access routes to the new village centre will be upgraded and improved, with pedestrian and cycles also catered for.
As the University unveiled the Masterplan, Ulster Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said: "The University has been a part of the Jordanstown landscape for 40 years and will continue to be an important part of the landscape in years to come.
"It is because of that long association with the area that the University is keen to retain its links through the further development of our world class sports facilities and the retention of our FireSERT research facility while also triggering development that is sensitive to the needs and character of the local community.
"The University's presence in Jordanstown will be scaled back as a result of our new Belfast City Campus but our commitment to this area will not in any way be diminished."
In March, the University unveiled its vision of and submitted its planning application for the new Belfast City Campus in York Street which will significantly expand the campus currently there.
The decision to relocate from Jordanstown was sparked in 2006 by a review of the higher education estate commissioned by the Department for Employment and Learning that identified the state of the main Jordanstown campus building as the key infrastructural challenge facing Northern Ireland's universities.
Under the Belfast City Campusplan, the bulk of Ulster's teaching and learning and research and innovation activity will be relocated from Jordanstown to the enlarged city centre campus.
The University asked Holywood based development consultants, Strategic Planning to come up with a new vision for the Jordanstown site.
Members of the public in the Jordanstown and wider East Antrim area have been invited to attend a public information session on the Jordanstown campus between 5pm and 9pm on November 28 to view the Masterplan, raise any questions they may have and give their feedback.
Professor Alastair Adair, Provost of Jordanstown and Belfast campuses, explained:“The University of Ulster has always been a progressive, modern, forward and outward-looking academic institution.
“In order to remain true to that philosophy, our facilities must respond to and reflect the latest trends in international higher education, so that we can compete for the best students, best researchers and best staff.
“By making the move to a new Belfast campus, we will provide a high quality innovative and creative learning environment on one site which meets the needs of today’s students and reflects recent changes in higher education.
“However theUniversity is also keen to ensure that the facilities that remain in Jordanstown enhance the area and we want to engage the local community on our Masterplan proposals.
"We look forward to holding our public information session on the Jordanstown campus on 28 November 2012 and responding to the feedback we receive."