STAFFORD is an “ideal fit” for Wolverhampton University, its vice chancellor has said.
The university is to create a new base in Stafford’s Shire Hall and will use the historic building to house a new information centre for prospective students and also to provide a range of courses.
“We are really proud to be in Stafford, right in the heart of the town centre,” said vice chancellor Professor Geoff Layer.
“We have been looking for some time at expanding the work we do, particularly for people who want part-time and adult learning, in some of our key neighbouring towns and counties.
“As a university it is vital we seek to provide opportunities to a wide audience and help shape and drive economic growth in the region.
“We see Stafford as an ideal fit. It is just 15 miles from Wolverhampton and 10 minutes on the train. We have many hundreds of students every year from South Staffordshire who study with us and there are the historical connections between Wolverhampton and Stafford - we were formerly known as the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College.”
Prof Layer said the university had been received “very positively” by the county and borough councils.
”All parties see this as a great way to keep Shire Hall accessible to the public and in use and to have a significant university presence,” he said.
Councillor Mike Heenan, Leader of Stafford Borough Council, added: “I met with the vice chancellor on several occasions and I am delighted that this has come to fruition and will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship in Stafford.”
The centre will be based in the Grand Hall part of the Shire Hall. The university intends to retain the art gallery space, which it aims to use for student and community exhibition space alongside existing planned exhibitions, as well as the historic court rooms - which will remain accessible to the public.