A Massive former arts centre in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is set for a new lease of life after being bought by North Liverpool Academy Trust.
The trust plans to turn the Contemporary Urban Centre (CUC) in Greenland Street into a home for two new schools it is setting up for students aged 14 to 19.
The building will house both The Studio – a school dedicated to digital and gaming technology – and the Life Sciences University Technical College, which aims to train young people to work in Liverpool’s growing bioscience sector.
The CUC was a former Victorian warehouse converted into an arts centre by charity Novas. It spent £16m refurbishing the building, which includes restaurants, a 120-seat cinema and a music venue.
But Novas, now called People Can, was hit by funding cuts and shut the site last year to focus on its frontline work dealing with homelessness and drug and alcohol addictions. The building was put up for sale in February – but the school last night confirmed that it was taking over the site.
The school will spend the next year fitting the building out so the schools can open in September 2013.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: "The Studio School and University Technical College are examples of our schools innovating, seeking excellence and preparing our children for a changing world.
"Games development and life sciences are sectors that are growing in importance and impact year on year.
"Both sectors offer long term, lucrative careers to our young people if they are equipped with the skills to work in these areas.
"North Liverpool Academy has secured funding to establish centres of excellence for both and, really interestingly, is locating both schools at one site in the CUC which sits on the edge of my former ward and the place I was born and raised.
"Seeing the CUC brought back into use like This is a fantastic opportunity for the area, for Liverpool and for the wider city region.
"Once again we are showing the country and world what we as a city can achieve to create great places to learn and develop the skilled workforce of the future."
Liverpool’s regeneration agencies want the Baltic Triangle to become a hub for the city’s creative and digital sector, so the school is seen as a perfect fit for the area.
Kevin McManus, director of creative industries support agency ACME, said: "The presence of the Studio School and UTC will only add to what is already an incredibly vibrant and exciting mix in the area."
Source: Liverpool Echo