The planned university campus in the heart of the Docklands area of London could be worth at least Pounds 200 million to the local region over a 20-year period, according to an economic impact study by Touche Ross, the management consultants who have carried out similar research for the proposed campuses at Belfast, Lanarkshire and Lincoln.
The Royals University College - which is backed by a consortium including the University of East London, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London Guildhall University and City University - is intended to provide vocational and professional courses for about 3,350 full-time, 1,895 part-time, and 700 TEC-funded students.
It will offer specialist courses in subjects of local importance, including communications (taking advantage of the relocation of Fleet Street to East London), information engineering, auto-motive design and mechtronics.
The projected cost of the initial six-year investment is Pounds 53.5 million: Pounds 30.6 million on academic buildings; Pounds 16 million on accommodation, shops and cultural facilities; and Pounds 6.8 million on service infrastructure. But the anticipated pay-back - primarily as a boost to the local economy - is significant.
What is being described as "a flagship project" for the Docklands area is expected to have an annual revenue of around Pounds 21.5 million. The direct economic benefits - mainly via the creation of new jobs - will total around Pounds 175 million. The college will require about 200 new academic staff posts, and local spending by staff and students can be expected to generate another 500 jobs. On top of this, the construction of the campus is likely to sustain 430 full-time jobs over a six-year period.
The biggest indirect economic impact will come from the development of a Pounds 30 million associated science and technology park, which could support between 350 and 500 jobs as well as promoting technology transfer.
Other benefits for the local community include improved social and leisure facilities, and enhanced investment potential by linking up the development with other Royal Docks and Thames Gateway initiatives.