Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has released its plans to build a new £70m campus in Hulme. The site – named Birley Fields – also aims to be the greenest campus in Britain.
It will replace sites in Didsbury and Rusholme and aims to bring together training facilities for 5,000 teachers, nurses, social workers and other public sector professionals. This plan has been formed after plans to expand the Didsbury site were met with hostility from local residents last year.
A master plan for the Hulme site will be published soon before a full of public consultation begins in the late spring. MMU’s press release on the matter expressed how enthusiastic the council are about this proposal, with Council leader Sir Richard Leese saying “this substantial investment in the area, and commitment to its continuing regeneration, is particularly welcome given the recession.”
Although it is claimed that the development will create jobs and services for residents in Hulme and neighbouring Moss Side, many residents will be angry to see one of their most valued green spaces disappear. The plans are particularly controversial with the Friends of Birley Fields who have campaigned for a long time to preserve the land.
Long-term member of the group Rob Squires explained that “the development is another form of economic growth and given current climate change issues all forms of economic growth should be stopped unless proven to be carbon neutral“. Rob is doubtful that this development will be carbon neutral feels that the space should be used for “social and ecological purposes to the benefit of local residents, because even if the campus is green, it will still destroy the Birley Fields forever“.