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University's £35m plan for arts, music and sport

AMBITIOUS PLAN: Vice Chancellor Michael Wright
AMBITIOUS PLAN: Vice Chancellor Michael Wright

THREE major developments together costing more than £35 million are being planned by Canterbury Christ Church University.

The projects are part of the University’s latest strategic plan, which was published this week.

The biggest and most ambitious part of the plan is a £25 million redevelopment of the former Clarkson House in Rheims Way.

The old insurance office was bought by Christ Church two years ago and has since been renamed Augustine House.

The offices will be demolished in the summer of 2007 and a learning centre built in its place, said the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Wright.

He said the learning centre should be completed and in use by September 2009.

“It will give us a new library, IT facilities and student advice services and is the biggest single project we have embarked on since the college opened in the 1960s,” he said.

Another £10 million is being spent improving sport and music facilities at Christ Church.

The University is about to apply for planning permission for an indoor sports centre on land currently owned by Barton Court Grammar School.

If granted, building work would start early in 2007 with the sports centre ready for use later in the year.

The partnership between school and University would give Barton Court pupils some access to the sports centre, said Prof Wright.

The new building would replace the small sports centre Christ Church currently uses at St George’s Place.

The third big project included in the strategic plan is a redevelopment of the St Gregory’s Music Centre.

“We want to create the first purpose-built music facility in Canterbury,” said Prof Wright.

“At the moment the centre seats about 150 people. We want to extend the building so it seats between 250 and 300.”

The University hopes the new-look St Gregory’s Centre would be finished in 2009.

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