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22nd June 2015, 1:31pm  (updated 6th August 2015, 12:31pm)
Lighting up Lincolnshire through £130m University investment
MARC the robot lights up Lincolnshire The University of Lincoln, UK, has announced that new capital investment of £130million will transform its campus, providing world class facilities to support education and growth across the region.

Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, said: “In a region which is one of the worst in the UK for cold spots for access to higher education, the University of Lincoln is a beacon of learning. We are driving change for students and for industry and I am proud that the University is a chief component of the Midlands engine, delivering growth, investment and innovation. Put simply we are lighting up Lincolnshire.

“Funding from the Government through HEFCE, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Siemens and the European Investment Bank, has made this project possible. It will drive economic growth in the region and help address skills gaps in key industries."

The University of Lincoln has already invested nearly £200m in its Brayford Pool Campus which was, less than 20 years ago, derelict railway sidings. This development has had a profound effect on the city.  Lincoln is now one of the UK’s fastest growing cities with a thriving engineering sector.

The University now has an annual income of £130million, 14,000 students (from just 2,000 15 years ago), is estimated to contribute at least £300million to the regional economy each year and has created more than 3,000 jobs.

Lincoln was named among the UK’s top ten modern universities by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015 and was cited in reports by Sir Andrew Witty and Sir Tim Wilson as an example of successful university-industry partnerships.

At a recent ceremony, the University of Lincoln announced a new £130million programme of capital investment in new academic buildings and facilities. The funding includes £48million investment from the European Investment Bank, through a long-term loan.

Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, said: "Investment in new teaching and research facilities is essential for ensuring that graduates across Europe have the high-level skills needed by cutting edge companies and public services. New investment by the University of Lincoln will strengthen research excellence, enable students to benefit from the latest equipment and laboratories, and build on the university’s distinctive student experience. The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the ambitious investment in the University of Lincoln campus that will benefit future generations of students, create jobs during construction and further enhance the university’s contribution to regional economic development."

Professor Stuart added: "We are grateful to the European Investment Bank and our other supporters for this vote of confidence in our vision for the next chapter in our University’s story."

To symbolise the University’s role as both a catalyst for growth and a beacon of learning in the region, a giant beacon was lit in the heart of the campus with MARC the robot from the University’s School of Computer Science lighting the ceremonial fire.

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