File: Education Precinct

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the Manchester Education Precinct project. The Precinct project was the most ambitious of the building projects undertaken by the University in the post-war period. It was the University's response to the City of Manchester Plan which had envisaged, amongst other things, a major redevelopment of the area between the University and the city centre, with the construction of a number of new educational facilities. This area was known to be known as the Education Precinct, and would include UMIST buildings, a new University Medical School and a new college of music [the Royal Northern College of Music]. The overall plan of the Precinct was to create an integrated educational infrastructure which could cope with increased numbers of both University and non-University students. The focus of the development was the area to the north of the main University campus, bounded by Booth St., Higher Cambridge St. and Upper Brook St. During the 1960s this was completely redeveloped, with existing houses and shops being cleared. Much of this area was given over to the University Precinct Centre, a redbrick edifice which housed several departments as well as including student accommodation and shops [although it should be understood that the Precinct project encompassed more than the Precinct Centre alone].

The contents of the file trace the evolution of this project, and includes correspondence between University officers and their UMIST colleagues, with officers of the City Council about particular planning issues, land acquisition and traffic management. There is also correspondence with the UGC concerning funding of the project. Other papers relate to: the appointment of the architects, Hugh Wilson and Lewis Womersley, to the project; reports by members of the University's Department of Town planning on the proposals; plans to demolish shops on Oxford Road, including an unsuccessful campaign to save the King's Hotel; an article by Boris Ford of Sussex University on the Precinct project which was later published in the Universities Quarterly. Much of the later material in the file deals with the Precinct Centre, a complex of academic departments, halls of residence and shops, which traversed Oxford Road and abutted Booth St. The Precinct Centre was perhaps the most tangible product of the MEP project.

Former reference: 103

Related Material

Published reports of the Manchester Education Precinct project form part of the University Archives, UOP/9. Minutes of the Building Committee will provide further detail on the Precinct project, USC/4.