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Arden University plans Liverpool study centre

A private university which offers online and blended learning options has submitted plans to expand into Liverpool.

Arden University wants to open a new study centre at The Department office development within the Lewis’s Building.

Arden would deliver on-site teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, with an average course length of three years.

The university currently has study centres in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Berlin and Hamburg, with courses in a range of subjects from business to psychology.

According to a planning application submitted to Liverpool City Council by Augur Liverpool Ltd, the development would “widen the choice of education” within the city and contribute to the local economy in the process.

Student numbers would be around 300 if the study centre opens as planned in 2020 – rising to more than 1,000 within three years.

The application concerns part of the fourth floor of the Lewis’s Building, also known as the third floor of The Department.

The site itself was retrofitted for office space collectively with the level above which is occupied by the NHS.

However the site has not been occupied for office use and has been empty for over three years. Therefore, the established lawful use of the site is its last occupation, being retail.

Alongside the new education use, Arden wishes to safeguard the consented office use permission to provide future flexibility.

The proposed education use falls outside of the scope of the current permissions, and a change of use is therefore required to permit the university’s occupation.