Herefordshire Council could free millions of pounds in land and property for new university

Herefordshire Council is ready to free up millions of pounds worth of land and buildings for a future university in the county.

Herefordshire Council is ready to free up millions of pounds worth of land and buildings for a future university in the county.

First published in News
Last updated
Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

HEREFORDSHIRE Council is ready to free up millions of pounds worth of land and buildings for a future university in the county.

Next month, a single councillor will sign off  on the council starting talks with New University Herefordshire (NUH) over six "start up" sites for student accommodation, administration and teaching.

The sites are identified in a "forward plan" that pitches two city centre office blocks - Franklin House and Blueschool House - to NUH at less than full market value if not transferred under lease.

Land on the city's planned link road, off  Canal Road, and at North Magazine, Rotherwas, is also offered.

The city's present fire station in St Owen Street makes the list too.

There, the council has a deal pending with Hereford  & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority (HWFRA) that would see the station site swapped for that of the council's adjacent Bath Street offices - Hereford's former working boys home.

That deal was signed off by Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member for contracts and assets, who is expected to sign off starting the talks with NUH - now a tertiary education trust  - next month.

In March, the full council passed a resolution backing the university project with time limited options on land and buildings seen as the most practical offer.

The forward plan values Franklin House and Blueschool House at £800k and £500k respectively with consent needed from Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) which has an interest in both sites.

Land on the link road is valued at £800k, the fire station £500k and North Magazine £200k per acre.

Canal Road, however, won't be available for another four years.

These sites would be sold to the university at full market value if a sale can be achieved by  April next year and the council also wants protection clauses allowing it to take sites back should that be necessary.

Karen Usher, NUH project leader, said the council continued to be a part of “productive conversations” over likely locations for the university.

“We welcome the support,” she said.

Comments (5)

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2:39pm Wed 21 May 14

Gillian1961 says...

One of there brain waves again
One of there brain waves again Gillian1961
  • Score: 2

5:21pm Wed 21 May 14

flamboyant says...

Has someone told the staff in Franklin House? Didn't the Council just spend a fortune refurbishing Franklin to move staff from Garrack House? How many more times are they going to move their Customer Services? More hundreds of thousands wasted!
Has someone told the staff in Franklin House? Didn't the Council just spend a fortune refurbishing Franklin to move staff from Garrack House? How many more times are they going to move their Customer Services? More hundreds of thousands wasted! flamboyant
  • Score: 5

5:29pm Wed 21 May 14

Ubique1 says...

About 3/4 months ago the HT ran a story reporting the Customer Services will be moving to the Library - the first the staff knew about this possible move was when they read it in the paper - what a way to treat the foot soldiers.

To add to that , I have heard that this move to the Library is off because the Library is a Listed Building and the Council are unable to do the required work
About 3/4 months ago the HT ran a story reporting the Customer Services will be moving to the Library - the first the staff knew about this possible move was when they read it in the paper - what a way to treat the foot soldiers. To add to that , I have heard that this move to the Library is off because the Library is a Listed Building and the Council are unable to do the required work Ubique1
  • Score: 4

5:44pm Wed 21 May 14

redyoll says...

I wonder if it is was their own money would they be so free and easy with it. I suspect to a lot of the high ups it is just like playing a game of monopoly.
I wonder if it is was their own money would they be so free and easy with it. I suspect to a lot of the high ups it is just like playing a game of monopoly. redyoll
  • Score: 4

10:11am Thu 22 May 14

Dave The Dumbest says...

Please all of you stop whinging and whining, does it matter where the land comes from or the money side of it ! What is important is that the proposed university is built ASAP for the future academics from Herefordshire. Oh hang on a minute I hope this is not going to be another ' by pass' type of decision because all of you out there who think a by-pass is unneccessary need to stand in front of a mirror and take a long hard look at who is looking back at you.
Please all of you stop whinging and whining, does it matter where the land comes from or the money side of it ! What is important is that the proposed university is built ASAP for the future academics from Herefordshire. Oh hang on a minute I hope this is not going to be another ' by pass' type of decision because all of you out there who think a by-pass is unneccessary need to stand in front of a mirror and take a long hard look at who is looking back at you. Dave The Dumbest
  • Score: 2

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