PLANS have been submitted to turn a city's former swimming baths into a business school.

Durham University wants to build a £70m business school at Elvet Waterside, on the site of Durham's old swimming pool, which has been empty for more than a decade.

The plans would see the increasingly derelict building replaced with a six-floor department, two of which would be in the basement, which would be partly supported by stilts to prevent flooding.

The Northern Echo:

An artist's impression of the new business school at Elvet Waterside

Part of the application also includes plans to convert several university-owned buildings in Old Elvet, to the rear of the site, to use them as business incubators.

It will also see a listed cottage converted into a cafe, while a number of other disused buildings will be demolished.

Professor Simon Hackett, associate provost and project sponsor, said: "We see this as an exciting proposal that would lead to the rejuvenation of a derelict area of Durham, delivering significant economic benefits for the city and opening up the river front with public spaces.

"The proposal would provide the business school with innovative and world-class facilities while remaining sympathetic to the environment and surroundings."

The university wants to relocate the business school from its existing home in Mill Lane to allow it to expand.

It has been working on the proposals for more than two years to come up with a scheme.

A public consultation event was held in March, when it had a mixed response from those attending.

The Northern Echo:

The former swimming baths has been empty since 2008

The new building will be further away from the river than the existing baths building in a bid to prevent flooding, which the university says will also open up views of Durham Cathedral and castle from the riverside.

The basement level has been significantly increased from about 1,070 sq m to 2,286 sq m.

The building's main entrance will be located off a new plaza, which will be accessed from Territorial Lane while there will also be access from Old Elvet, via an existing vennel.

The submitted plans also include proposals to refurbish anumber of buildings in Old Elvet.

Numbers 42, 50 and 51 will be turned from academic facilities to private residences, while numbers 47-49 will be used as a start-up business hub.

The development will see the university's car park in Territorial Lane built over.

The business school will not have its own car park and is being developed as a "car free" site.

If it goes ahead, the Mill Hill building will be used as a “hub” for social science subjects currently using outdated buildings elsewhere in the university.

To see the plans visit