The iconic multi-purpose building will be the main venue for the initial academic year of university education being brought to Scarborough by Coventry University, ranked 15th best university in the UK and the country’s leading modern university.
The seafront conference and entertainment venue on South Bay, which is run by Sheffield City Trust (SCT), will be a primary teaching location for the new university ahead of the new £14 million purpose-built campus, planned to open on the Weaponness site in September 2016.
Based upon the high-quality and low-cost career focused model of higher education pioneered by Coventry University, it aims to help address local employment and skills needs as well as attracting students from the Yorkshire region and beyond.
Professor Craig Gaskell, Provost of Coventry University Scarborough Campus, said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm Scarborough Spa as a key delivery venue for Coventry University Scarborough Campus from September 2015.
“Scarborough Spa is an iconic venue located in an inspirational setting with excellent facilities and we believe it will be an attractive and high-quality setting for the expansion of Coventry University into North Yorkshire.
“It has always been our aim to use Scarborough Spa in our launch year and in recent weeks, we have been having detailed discussions with the venue to ensure we can deliver an excellent student experience from there.
“This will include an upgrade of the IT infrastructure to deliver superior internet connectivity to a level needed for a university.”
Classes will be held in a number of rooms clustered around the heart of the building and some will have sea views.
Prof Gaskell added: “Even after we move into our brand new campus building in September 2016, we still hope to retain links with the Spa and other venues around the town as our model includes long term engagement with businesses and the community, including an element of distributed delivery to enhance the learning experience.”
Applications are now being taken both directly and through the UCAS clearing process for a range of programmes from access courses to full degrees. University staff will be available at Scarborough Spa for drop-in sessions from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, August 13, Friday, August 14, and Saturday, August 15.
Jo Ager, general manager of Scarborough Spa, said: “We are really pleased to be hosting Coventry University Scarborough Campus. For Coventry University to be investing in Scarborough is a real positive for the town and for us.
“As a venue we are constantly reinventing ourselves to suit market changes so this is a really interesting avenue. We hope to see a big growth in conventions and festivals so the student environment fits really well.
“It is a great opportunity for us to attract students to the venue and to our entertainment programme, and we will be exploring opportunities to offer them discounts. For the students to be able to say that they started their university studies in such a historic and iconic venue will be quite something.”