LEC set to expand
The Lancaster Environment Centre is set to embark on a third phase of building work, creating a focus for knowledge transfer and a new home for the Geography Department. The £8.25 million project, which has been made possible by £3.5 million of pledged external funds from the European Regional Development Fund and the Northwest Regional Development Agency, will extend the existing LEC building, which was officially opened in July this year. When complete in 2006, the LEC knowledge business building (LEC – KBB) will provide accommodation for businesses wishing to co-locate alongside the Lancaster science base and house LEC’s enterprise and business development team. LEC - KBB will also provide space for the Research and Development wings of several larger commercial organisations as well as accommodation for start-up businesses from both outside and within the University. The Geography Department is set to join its allied departments by moving into purpose-built premises in the new LEC extension. In summer 2006, the department will quit its current home in the Physics building and move into a two-story extension, attached to the Knowledge Business Building, which includes office and dedicated lab space. The new building will also create a new outdoor courtyard space at the centre of LEC providing staff and students with a place to relax, study and plan new research projects. Enabling work for the new project will begin outside the existing LEC building over Christmas and building is expected to begin in Spring 2005. Staff and students will be updated later this year with the development of new web pages and an internal marketing campaign.