Birmingham City University has unveiled ambitious plans to build a £125 million base in the heart of the city.
The university is bidding to build a new city centre campus at Eastside, near Millennium Point.
It will replace the current City North site in Perry Barr as the institution’s main campus – but university bosses have launched a consultation to minimise the impact on the surrounding community.
Work is already underway at Eastside to create a new home for the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design and media studios.
But the second phase of the plan, which will be submitted to Birmingham City Council on Monday May 21, could see the bulk of university’s teaching moving to the site.
The proposals follow a decade of investment by the university, which includes the £30 million refurbishment of its City South campus in Edgbaston, which is home to the university’s faculty of health.
Vice chancellor David Tidmarsh said the move was about giving students in the city the “best possible experience”.
He said: “We took a major stake in Millennium Point back in 2000, and we have spent significant monies developing our site at Edgbaston and we are halfway through there with the arts and media building at Millennium Point too.
"This new announcement is the next part of our improvement strategy, which will potentially see our teaching moved from City North to the city centre.
“We will be very much a city centre university. We are investing heavily in the estate for the benefit our of students.
“Having fewer sites is more economical so we can concentrate on investing in better equipment and facilities.”
The first phase of the Eastside development will open to students in September next year, with the second phase, if approved, expected to open two years later.
If approved, the new site will house the university’s business school, plus education, law and social sciences departments.
Professor Tidmarsh added the move would be a big coup for Birmingham. He said: “The Eastside location has been 10 years in the happening, but if the new plans go ahead it will be the highest quality development in Birmingham.
“This is the next major area in Birmingham which is excellent news, not just for students, but for the city.”
Residence halls for nearly 1,000 students and the £8.5 million sports centre would remain in Perry Barr – which has been the university’s main home since the 1970s.
The move has caused concern among businesses in Perry Barr, as well as prompting an online campaign.
The university has insisted plans are still in the “very early stages”, and the university said it will still have a presence in the area.
Lozells and East Handsworth councillor Waseem Zaffar (Labour) has voiced his concern over the “huge economic impact”.
He said: “Many of my constituents have businesses and they are going to be hugely affected by the changes.
“There is also a lot of student housing around the campus, so this could have a big economic impact. The university has had a lot of ties to Perry Barr over the last few decades. Surely they have a social responsibility to people in the area?”
Professor Tidmarsh said: “Not refurbishing where we are in City North is not just about costs, but the disruption it would cause to our students.
“Our drive is to continue investing in our students. We have identified September 2015 as the earliest opportunity subject to planning and commercial projects.
“We are now looking to minimise the impact on the area and holding open consultations.”
Discussions will now take place with staff, students, the council and wider community, with members of the public invited to get in touch with their views and questions.