BOSSES of Burnley's dedicated football university are set to take over a third landmark building to cater for a surge in demand from students.
And the permission for another 60 student flats for the University College of Football Business has been labelled a ‘great vote of confidence’ in Burnley.
The Turf Moor-based college has been given the go-ahead to convert four floors of office space in Calder House, above Charter Walk shopping centre.
UCFB has already transformed the former Sparrow Hawk Hotel, in Church Street, and the old Keirby Hotel, in Keirby Walk, into digs for its 350 student population.
Now it hopes to create 15 self-contained study bedrooms on each of the top four floors of Calder House, in St James’s Street.
The vacant building was previously used by Burnley College before its Princess Way campus opened.
Burnley Council planning officers gave the proposals the green light after considering the impact of the accommodation on nearby listed buildings, including The Swan Inn and The Old Red Lion Hotel.
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While the overall design of the building will remain unchanged, some ‘decorative alterations to the glazing pattern’ are proposed and the prominent lift and stair tower is expected to be upgraded.
Council leader Coun Mark Townsend said the town’s growing student population was ‘a great vote of confidence for Burnley’.
He said: “Firstly, I’m delighted that UCFB is doing so well. This is further evidence of its popularity and I think and I think it is making a fantastic contribution to the town centre economy.
“The students make Burnley a more vibrant place and extend the life of the place during the day.
“Also, the fact that they are bringing a building back into use means it is a win-win situation all round. All of this has a knock-on effect on the town centre with more money and more footfall, which is exactly what we are looking for.
“It’s another positive thing for Burnley overall in terms of the perception it gets from the outside. The fact UCFB is involved with Wembley only enhances our reputation.”
Philip Wilson, provost and chief executive at UCFB, said: “We take the pastoral care of our students very seriously and the provision of high-quality living accommodation plays a significant role in their comfort and wellbeing.
“We have seen an increase in applications at our UCFB Burnley campus, resulting in an increased demand for halls of residence accommodation.”
In a heritage impact assessment, planning agents Michael Hyde and Associates praised UCFB for its plans to inject new life into Calder House.
A report said: “The proposed works to the existing building are generally considered to be positive, both in terms of the life of the town centre and the general appearance of the buildings.
“The changes to the exterior of the building are minor but are designed to be positive and beneficial to the building and its setting."
UCFB, which opened in 2011, is due to honour its first batch of graduates later this summer.