Controversial £20m Riseholme redevelopment plans submitted by Lincoln university

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The University of Lincoln has officially submitted revised plans for a £20 million redevelopment of its Riseholme campus near Lincoln, including new agri-food and heritage education facilities and 180 new homes – down from 750.

The applications, which also include a new Centre of Excellence in agri-food at its Holbeach site were first shared earlier this year as part of a public consultation.

The new investment will support agri-tech research at the university which brings together specialisms in life sciences, computer science, engineering and food manufacturing.

A residential community of up to 180 homes on previously developed land will release capital for investment in the new teaching and research facilities.

Revisions to Riseholme plans

Following responses and feedback in the consultation which have been used to inform the planning application, the university has reduced the number of new homes on the site by 570.

A new community sports hub will also be developed, including field sport pitches, a club house and pavilion with changing facilities, and an all-weather pitch.

As well as conservation investment in the site’s medieval village and ancient burial ground, a new on-campus heritage centre will display and exhibit archaeological finds from the area and showcase work from the University of Lincoln’s School of History & Heritage.

Professor Scott Davidson, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said: “This is great news for Lincolnshire.

“The university is dedicated to supporting our county’s agriculture and food manufacturing industries through education, training and world-class research, and both our Riseholme and Holbeach campuses are key to this work.

“They offer valuable resources for pursuing truly innovative research in technologies such as ‘smart farming’ and autonomous robotic systems.”

R&D facility for Holbeach campus

The University of Lincoln National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach. Photo: UoL

The University of Lincoln National Centre for Food Manufacturing in Holbeach. Photo: UoL

The university’s application for Holbeach proposes a research and development facility to complement the existing National Centre for Food Manufacturing, which currently serves the UK-wide food industry as a specialist training facility and is home to cutting-edge food manufacturing technologies and research projects.

The new Centre of Excellence in Agri-food will house food microbiology and chemistry laboratories, a high-tech test kitchen and sensory suite, a learning resource centre, and accommodation for seminars and business networking events.

This planned investment follows the recent announcement of major government funding for three pioneering research projects led by the University’s Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology.

Disputed plans

In response to the proposals, current Riseholme campus tenant Bishop Burton College was previously joined by local councillors and farmers in loudly objecting to the site’s redevelopment.

The college’s lease expires in 2020, after which construction is hoped to begin.

The college, which is preparing to open the second part of its new Lincolnshire Showground campus, previously said the plans would “destroy opportunities for young people”.

The university says the final masterplan for the Riseholme campus aims to secure the future of the site as an educational and heritage asset for Lincolnshire.

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