Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Sunday, 27 April 2008 14:22 UK

University plans 160m expansion

Cumbria University sign
The university will eventually cater for 20,000 students

A 160m expansion plan has been unveiled by the University of Cumbria.

The plans will see new campus sites across Cumbria and North Lancashire and a centrepiece 70m campus in Carlisle.

The university was created when St Martin's College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts and the University of Central Lancashire's Cumbria campuses merged.

The university has more than 15,000 students at existing sites in Carlisle, Ambleside, Penrith, Lancaster, Whitehaven and Barrow.

Peter Armer, the university's director of resources, finance and estates, said: "Our proposals set out a vision for cementing the university's identity both in terms of visibility, accessibility and aspiration.

"It's crucial that the university acts as the catalyst to drive the Cumbrian economy forward by providing world class skills and resources for the region and I believe that our proposals illustrate this ambition.

"Our assumptions reflect our view that we must represent all the main regions in Cumbria by providing world class facilities across the region.

"By providing five major campuses across two counties, we will move from a collection of legacy institutions to a high performing university institution."

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