A NEW £22million four-storey flagship building for Bournemouth University is set to open in 2016 after plans were approved by Borough of Poole council.

The glass-fronted building at the university’s Talbot Campus will host academic and support facilities, including seminar rooms, lecture theatres, multi-function space and catering facilities, given the go-ahead by Poole council on Monday.

Vice-chancellor, professor John Vinney said that the higher education sector is becoming increasingly competitive and so they cannot afford to stand still.

He added: “We have taken great strides in recent years to improve our level of performance and to attract high-calibre students and staff.

“Our aspiration is to become a centre of academic excellence in education, research, and professional practice, and we need world-class facilities, like this new academic building to match those aspirations.”

Building work will take place on an existing car park on the site to create the new flagship facility, meaning that new vehicle spaces will be created on land south of the campus. In addition, a new mini link road will also be constructed to connect Gillett Road to the campus, to minimise traffic flows through local residential roads.

Richard Genge, planning and regeneration manager, Borough of Poole, said: “The proposed development will contribute to the character and appearance of the area as well as enhancing the University’s educational facilities.

“It represents a significant financial investment for the university and will benefit the economic growth of the area.”

It will become the latest addition to Bournemouth University, as a £10.5million six-storey student centre is currently under construction on the same site, due to open next year, and developments on the International College building in Lansdowne.