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Planning approval for new town centre university campus

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Croydon town centre will get a new London South Bank University (LSBU) campus from September 2021 after planning permission was granted to convert an empty Art Deco office building.

Students of health and social care, business and finance will be based at the Grade II-listed Electric House on Wellesley Road after the council granted planning approval and listed building consent this week.

The university has also now signed a lease agreement for the new campus site, which will offer courses including degrees in nursing, accounting, business management and a Masters for chiropractors.

The move follows a partnership agreed in 2019 between the university and the council as the first step towards a new Croydon Creative Campus offering a mix of business, culture and learning to boost the borough’s regeneration and career prospects for Croydon’s 93,000 people under 18.

The university will convert the four-storey Electric House to include a lecture theatre, classrooms and a café. For nursing students, the building will also include nursing skills suites that replicate hospital wards.

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council said: “This is another real vote of confidence in Croydon, as London South Bank University’s new town centre campus will bring fantastic education and career opportunities for the young people of this borough, deliver more local jobs and provide a real boost to our economy.

“With university students already studying at nearby Croydon College and Electric House now set to be transformed into LSBU’s new campus, Croydon is fast becoming a south London hub for higher education in line with the council’s long-term vision for a creative campus in the borough.”

Professor Patrick Bailey, LSBU Provost, said, “We are delighted LSBU Croydon has taken another big step forward. Croydon is the perfect location for our new university campus which will train the next generation of nurses and business leaders. LSBU Croydon will set graduates up for successful careers by preparing them to hit the ground running.”

Electric House was constructed as an electricity showroom between 1939 and 1942 and still has original features including marble floors. It has been vacant since the Home Office moved out in 2013.

LSBU’s business incubation facility houses 90 businesses and is ranked among the top 15 university-run incubators in the world, while its employer-supported learning framework has made it a leading UK university for graduate employment.

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