A multi-million pound plan for the development of the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme Campus will set out additional education investment and the potential for around 750 new homes.
The plans for the 212-hectare site off the A15 north of Lincoln are being finalised to secure the future of the campus as an educational and heritage asset, as well as growing specialisms in the agri-food technology industry.
It is hoped that sustainable housing on land to the north east of the campus will fund a host of new facilities, teaching and research.
The full vision is expected to be unveiled by the end of 2015, along with the launch of a consultation on the elements of the plans. No planning applications have been submitted at this stage.
The project will include creation of a new field station to support advanced agricultural and environmental scientific research and a heritage centre, where researchers and members of the public can explore Riseholme’s historic past.
Additional field sports and changing facilities will also be provided for use by the university and the local community.
It’s hoped the sustainable residential community will enhance the sensitive landscape and parkland setting of Riseholme.
The university, currently putting together a new Strategic Plan for the next phase of its development, says it believes Riseholme is key to its higher education provision supporting Lincolnshire’s agriculture and food manufacturing sectors, particularly through its Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology, which is pursuing innovative research in technologies such ‘smart farming’ and autonomous robotic systems.
The LIAT brings together specialisms in life sciences, computer science, engineering and food manufacturing, and Riseholme represents an important platform for its researchers alongside the university’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach.
Professor Scott Davidson, Deputy Vice Chancellor, said: “Riseholme represents a unique educational resource for the people of Lincolnshire and the university is developing a vision which we believe will secure its long-term future.
“With the university’s appointment of the archaeologist Professor Carenza Lewis of Time Team fame, Riseholme’s historic sites will assume even greater educational significance.
“We plan to develop a new heritage research centre to enable further study of Riseholme’s past and to preserve and promote its heritage.
“We will also improve the current sports facilities while preserving public access to the estate’s woodlands, parklands and watercourses.
“As part of these proposals, it remains our intention to develop a small section of land in the north eastern corner of the Campus for sustainable housing to release capital for investment elsewhere.
“Discussions have been held with members of the local community and we hope to be able to provide more details on our vision for Riseholme in the near future.”
Archaeologist Professor Carenza Lewis, former Time Team presenter and now a Professor in the School of History & Heritage at the University of Lincoln, added: “The archaeological landscape at Riseholme has huge potential to educate, inspire and inform.
“Properly resourced, it will be able to provide opportunities for students and researchers from universities and schools as well as the general public, to work and learn together, enabling new sites to be discovered and known sites to be better understood.
“Our vision is for a ‘citizen research’ project in which anyone who is interested in the historic landscape will be able to enjoy working with others, including university specialists, to gain new skills, make new finds and develop new ideas which advance knowledge and understanding.”
The University of Lincoln purchased the Riseholme Campus from De Montfort University in 2001.
Since then, it has invested more than £12 million in developing the facilities and maintaining the estate.
In 2012 further education provision at Riseholme transferred to Bishop Burton College, which has since established a new Campus at Lincolnshire Showground.
The University continues to deliver higher education from Riseholme Campus, which it owns.