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The University of Kent

University eyes up new site for hotel and conference centre

The University of Kent has switched the location of its proposed hotel and conference centre.

It had been considering land between University Road and the St Michael’s Road and Salisbury Road residential areas.

But the plan proved hugely controversial, prompting the university to reconsider the location of its proposed building.

And it has identified a new area on its campus for the potential development: a site north of University Road and south of Turing College.

The university says the location “would give maximum flexibility both in the size of the footprint of the building and also with regard to the size of conferences that can be held as this location provides easy access to the facilities available in Turing College”.

Kent vice-chancellor Karen Cox

It went on: “The hotel-conference centre would be designed to address a changing higher education landscape offering both facilities and opportunities for the generation of income to help support our teaching and research activities.”

University vice-chancellor Professor Karen Cox added: “I would like to thank all those who engaged with the masterplan process, including local residents, staff, students and Kent Union, and for the informed discussions which have been held with the masterplan team over the last 18 months.

“The aim of the masterplan is to provide a framework which will help us make decisions on the future development of the Canterbury campus in the short, medium and long term.

“The proposed location for the potential development of a hotel-conference centre is just one of the many elements it contains.”

Business generated by university conference activities creates employment for 350 full-time members of staff and a further 500 part-time or conference staff.

A new conference hotel would provide more part-time employment for students and residents.

The university is now working on a consultation statement and will be submitting the finished masterplan to Canterbury City Council for its consideration in the New Year.

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