University submits planning application for new veterinary school

Proposed vet school (Courtesey Wilson Mason)

Plans for a new vet school, at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), in Preston, have been announced.

Real estate services firm, Cushman & Wakefield, has submitted the planning application to Preston City Council on behalf of UCLan.

If approved, the new 45,000 sq ft four-storey building will be located at UCLan’s Preston Campus on Victoria Street and will be the first of its kind in Lancashire. It will be the 11th dedicated veterinary school in the UK.

The School of Veterinary Medicine is due to complete by September 2024, and will comprise anatomical skills laboratories and simulated clinical facilities, including a pharmacy, diagnostic suite, operating theatres, teaching rooms and office space.

It will provide a hub for undergraduate and postgraduate course students and staff in veterinary medicine, bioveterinary science, veterinary clinical practice, veterinary physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and clinical animal behaviour and training.

Sarah Myers, senior planner in Cushman & Wakefield’s planning, development and strategic advisory team, who led the planning application, said: “The school will be integral to UCLan’s growth ambitions and demonstrates the university’s pledge to invest in the country’s future veterinary practitioners.”

Dr Heather Bacon, head of UCLan’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said: “The planning application takes us closer to achieving our ambition to create a technologically advanced veterinary school. The new school will play a major role in developing the veterinary practitioners and leaders of the future and supporting economic growth in the North.

“We’re incredibly excited to open the first Vet School in Lancashire, which will offer students state-of-the-art training facilities, and the highest of education and professional standards.”

Part of the proposed development work also includes the renovation of the Greenbank Building on Victoria Street, which will contain consultation rooms, a rehabilitation suite, kennels and additional veterinary teaching facilities.

Once completed, the new development will achieve sufficient credits for the building to qualify for a BREEAM Excellent rating. If planning permission is granted, construction work is expected to start in March 2023.