Generated image of a two story curved fronted building depicting what the University of Cumbria Barrow campus will look once constructed.

Full planning permission granted for new university campus in Barrow, Cumbria

Proposals to create a university campus in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria have been granted full planning permission. 

The University of Cumbria campus is central to the creation of the Barrow Learning Quarter (BLQ), part of the #BrilliantBarrow Town Deal. The BLQ aims to transform access to further and higher education and opportunities for those in the town and surrounding areas, now and in the future. 

The campus contributes to the university’s long-term strategic plans to help address sector and regional skills needs. It will deliver, initially, programmes aligned to areas including Advanced Manufacturing, Computing (including cyber security), and Supply Chain and Logistics. 

A university of, for and from Cumbria and its localities, the university is also expanding its academic provision, establishing an Institute of Engineering, Computing and Advanced Manufacturing (IECAM). Professors Jill and Paul Stewart took up their new roles heading up the Institute last month – Jill as IECAM Director and Paul as its founding Professor of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing.  

The University of Cumbria’s design partners, working with Barrow Borough Council planning officers, have resolved issues relating to drainage, car parking and accessibility after town planners granted support in principle for the scheme last October.  

The university is pleased to have received written confirmation that full planning consent, with conditions, has been granted. Enabling works have begun, which will pave the way for construction of the new campus building. Technical design work is ongoing. 

Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell (pictured) said: “Building upon the academic programmes we already provide to many in and around Barrow, we and our partners including BAE Systems, Barrow Borough Council and Furness College are committed to realising our shared ambition of enhancing education opportunities across the area. The awarding of full planning permission is a significant milestone towards achieving our goals.

Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell DL

“A new university campus and the wider Barrow Learning Quarter will contribute to future growth and prosperity, driving our mission to transform lives and livelihoods in our communities. The campus will have innovative, inclusive facilities and provision, offering progression routes and pathways for young people and those who want to follow their passion and make a difference to others.” 

The campus is designed by DAY Architectural Ltd and developed in collaboration with BAE Systems. It will be sited next to the Submarine Academy of Skills and Knowledge at BAE Systems, and it will be part-funded by a significant grant from the Government’s Town Deal initiative. 

Described as a ‘once-in-a-generation' opportunity, the BLQ also includes a Skills Hub at Furness College’s Rating Lane site.  

Main construction work on the university campus is set to begin later this year, with completion forecasted in autumn 2024.  

Notes to editors

Notes to editors   

On July 27, 2019, the Prime Minister announced that the Towns Fund would support an initial 101 places across England to develop Town Deal proposals, to drive economic regeneration and deliver long-term economic and productivity growth. See further details of the announcement: PM speech at Manchester Science and Industry Museum - GOV.UK (   

A Town Deal is an agreement in principle between Government, the lead council and the Town Deal Board. It will set out a vision and strategy for the town, and what each party agrees to do to achieve this vision. See the 101 places being supported to develop Town Deals: list-of-100-places.pdf (   

Each of the 101 towns selected to work towards a Town Deal also received accelerated funding last year for investment in capital projects that would have an immediate impact and help places “build back better” in the wake of Covid-19. View a list of accelerated funding by place: towns-fund-accelerated-funding-grants.pdf (