The architects’ artist visuals reveal the exterior appearance of the £8.5m Lancaster University School of Mathematics (LUSoM), which will be built on London Road, close to Preston’s city centre and the main campus of Cardinal Newman College.
The school’s trust, the Rigby Education Trust, was recently granted planning permission for the new building by Preston City Council’s planning committee.
Full funding has been confirmed and work has begun to prepare the site, which is the former location of Barry House, an old Department for Works and Pension office block.
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The exterior materials of the LUSoM building will be a mixture of brown and black brickwork, glass and a distinctive bronze metal cladding.
This unique look will make the building iconic within the area and a landmark for people travelling into Preston city centre.
The school will be a total of four storeys high, with the fourth storey recessed away from London Road, creating a rooftop terraced area for students to relax and study looking out onto the Preston cityscape.
The interior of the school will be light and welcoming with a three-storey atrium providing open learning for the students and a welcoming environment for all visitors.
A specially designed retractable 400-seat auditorium has been included within the building to host lecture style sessions in addition to other events and masterclasses.
Delivering outstanding mathematics A-level education to the most able students from across Lancashire and the north west, the Lancaster University School of Mathematics will open for its first cohort in September 2022.
The school has begun accepting applications from Year 11 students to apply for Year 12 starting in September 2022 and applications can be made from the website here.
Anyone interested in finding out more about life at LUSoM, including the facilities and curriculum, is invited to attend a virtual launch event tomorrow, Wednesday September 29, and can register interest here.
A number of taster days, talks and revision sessions will also be held throughout this autumn.
More details on the application process, and the events and activities, are available on the school’s website here.
The Lancaster University School of Mathematics, which will recruit up to 130 students each year, is a collaboration between two outstanding education providers, Lancaster University, which is consistently ranked among the best in the UK and top 20 in national league tables, and Cardinal Newman College, one of the highest performing Sixth Form Colleges nationally, based on A-level progress.
Providing a modern and safe, inclusive and inspiring learning environment, and informed by a uniquely broad, rich, challenging and stretching curriculum, the school will attract students from all backgrounds, helping to raise aspirations throughout Preston and the wider area, unlock potential and propel young people on their journey towards successful careers.
It will also enable the most mathematically able students from Lancashire and the surrounding areas in the North West to access the best support when applying to the most selective universities.
Strong links will be made with the Maths Schools already in operation at Liverpool, Exeter and Kings College London, sharing knowledge and working towards encouraging Mathematics in the entirety of the UK.
School Systems Minister Baroness Barran said: “Lancaster University School of Mathematics will bring a transformational approach to maths teaching to Preston and Lancashire.
“Students will be able to build a depth and breadth of understanding across the whole field of mathematics from cutting edge modelling to the underpinnings of game theory and more.
“We remain committed to delivering this same set of opportunities for young people across the country through our creation of maths schools in every region by 2023, enriching students’ experience of the subject and preparing them for further study and a successful career.”
Prof Simon Guy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Lancaster University, said: “It is fantastic to see the Lancaster University School of Mathematics project continue to develop with the granting of planning permission from the council and it is great to be able to share these first striking images of how the school will look.
“The school will become a tremendous asset for the area, as well as the wider region. The world-class education the school will provide will enable our best young mathematically gifted people to fulfil their potential and giving them a flying start as they head to university and begin their careers.”
Cardinal Newman principal Nick Burnham said: “We are delighted to have received planning permission to build the Lancaster University School of Mathematics and are really grateful for the continued support of Preston City Council and the planning committee.
"This is a very significant milestone in enabling us to open an inspiring specialist maths school for Lancashire students. This world class educational environment will open in September 2022 and be a significant addition to the already outstanding post 16 educational provision in our region.”
The Rigby Educational Trust has appointed Pozzoni Architecture as architects for the school, and Galliford Try as the design and build contractor.
Catherine Mulley, director at Pozzoni Architecture and head of the practice's education team, said: "The country's brightest young mathematicians need environments that are conducive to a very particular style of learning. As such, we've designed the Lancaster University School of Mathematics around a distinct three-story atrium that will serve as a gateway into an exceptional maths community.
"We're describing the welcoming and spacious form of the atrium as a vertical 'Axis for Learning' because its expansive glazing and connectivity with various learning spaces will encourage the students to thrive.
"It will provide a critical link between the auditorium and the main teaching wing, while serving as a space in its own right for the promotion of social interaction and open learning.”
The creation of Lancaster University School of Mathematics is in direct response to a call from Government for the UK’s top universities to take a leading role in establishing new Maths Schools - helping meet the demand for maths skills in the workforce.
The Government has pledged to provide an additional £350,000 funding each year for new Maths Schools supported by the UK’s most selective mathematics universities.
Students attending the Maths School will study A-level maths and further maths as part of a full programme including options such as physics, chemistry and computer science, together with a wide range of subject options at Cardinal Newman College.