HEREFORD’S proposed new university has reached another milestone after securing funding to transform the former Robert Owen Academy site.

The £2.34m funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership deal will be used to refurbish and equip buildings at the former school in Blackfriars Street to create an environment in which students can learn practical engineering skills.

The funding will see the site’s vacant buildings improved, adapted and equipped to provide 3,205 square metres of teaching space, studios and workshops.

Mandy Thorn MBE, Chair of the Marches LEP, said: “This £2.34m is the first tranche of a wider funding package secured via the Government’s Local Growth Fund by the Marches LEP.

“Once transformed, the building is expected to see 250 learners come through the doors while creating 37 jobs and supporting 75 companies by 2023.”

The funding deal will also see more than £3m invested by the private sector, boosting the local economy by more than £6m.

NMiTE chief Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon said: “We are delighted to have reached this important point.

Our academic staff have been extremely busy designing and creating NMiTE’s MEng programme with the help of our design cohort, and launching new CPD programmes which will embed the concept of lifelong learning, adding local value to industry, community and economy.

“Now we have access to our first building, our vision and ambition to create the first engineering university for and of the future will start to physically emerge for all to see.”