University of Greenwich to close Avery Hill Campus’ Mansion Site

It has been announced that the University of Greenwich is to close and sell off the Mansion Site section of the Avery Hill campus, mainly as a result of the move of various university Departments to the Stockwell Street development in Greenwich Town Centre.

 

In a note to university staff, the Vice Chancellor makes clear that the fact that the Faculties of Architecture, Computing & Humanities has moved from the Mansion Site to Stockwell Street has left a large amount of the building empty and with running costs of around £1m annually it is not economic to keep it open. 

 

The note also confirms that the University has chosen to withdraw its Stage 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the restoration of the Winter Garden.  It appears that there has been a sudden change of heart about the application which is now not the “right proposal for the university, or for the Mansion House site in its entirety.” 

 

There is also an ominous sounding section noting that the Winter Garden is protected by covenants which commit to retaining its ‘fabric at the condition they were in when acquired by the university’. 

 

Leader of Greenwich Conservatives and Parliamentary Candidate for Eltham Cllr Spencer Drury said “This is a sad day for Eltham as we are losing a key employer and an iconic part of our community.  It once again reinforces the fact that the Labour Party have no vision for the south of the borough.  The University’s Mansion site and the Winter Gardens are landmarks and should have been a focus for the Council’s plans.  Residents like me in the south of the borough have once again been let down by our Labour Council and MP, whose only vision appears to be to close down key businesses on our High Street (including the Post Office which I visited yesterday).  We need a strong voice and a vision for the south of the borough to ensure its interests are not neglected because of the Labour Party’s (often unhealthy) obsession with Woolwich and Greenwich.”

 

“It is vital contact is made with the Heritage Lottery Find as soon as possible to ensure momentum to restore the Winter Gardens is not lost.”

 

“I think our local MP needs to stop focusing on Westminster and start sticking up for Eltham, as currently our future is looking pretty bleak under this Labour Council’s administration.”