Wells Haslem Mayhew has been helping to bring a tertiary institution to Blacktown. Account Manager Isabelle Walker tells of the work we've been doing in 2018.

Wells Haslem Mayhew has been heading west for over a year now. We’re helping Blacktown City Council secure interest from a university to build a campus in the transforming outer-western Sydney suburb’s Central Business District.

The Council has an incredible vision for its local area. The Mayor and his team plan to turn the CBD into a hub for talent and innovation, with the university standing as its centrepiece.

As news of Council’s plans hit the headlines, some punters were less than polite, and some downright cynical.

It is true that Blacktown has not always had a stellar reputation, and like any area of Sydney with a high population (1 in 80 Australians live in Blacktown), has its fair share of crime.

However, take a trip to Flushcombe Road and Main Street, and you’ll see a diverse, welcoming community smiling back at you.

This is a community immensely proud of its city, and they want the rest of Sydney to be too.

A university in Blacktown would mean jobs for the local community, and a refocus of Sydney towards the west. 37 per cent of Sydney’s university students are from Western Sydney, but only 18 per cent of higher education places are in Western Sydney.

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Western Sydney is booming, and Blacktown is making the most of the boom.

Droves of Sydneysiders are moving west, as housing affordability in outer suburbs entices young families to emerging areas. However, Blacktown is historic and central, complete with access to major motorways and a trainline – and it has maintained its housing affordability.

Blacktown has sensed this seismic shift in Sydney’s centrality. Parramatta has replaced the CBD as the centre of Sydney; Olympic Park is home to more events and is drawing more crowds; and the Aerotropolis is being built at nearby Badgerys Creek. The new Sydney Metro will eventually connect it all to central Sydney.

Blacktown wants buy-in to the shift West – and the Transformation Projects headed by Council are the way for Blacktown to stamp its claim as a major CBD for our booming city.

In addition to the university, Council is committed to an International Centre of Training Excellence (within its International Sportspark Masterplan), the redevelopment of Warrick Lane of which the university will be centrepiece, a new health precinct, and a new town centre masterplan for the suburb of Riverstone.

Blacktown is running head on into the 21st century and wants to provide its residents with the options to receive high quality tertiary education – without having to potentially drive an hour or take a 50-minute train ride.

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Blacktown opened its Expression of Interest in September and they will close on 5 December. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this exciting project.

FAST FACTS:

  • 32 per cent of Sydney students live within 45 minutes of Blacktown.

  • Local businesses have committed to partnering with a local university to provide work placements, research opportunities, and jobs.

  • Businesses are telling Council they require more qualified workers for roles and research across logistics, manufacturing, engineering and IT.

  • Specialised industry opportunities - Blacktown’s significant sports infrastructure, including the Blacktown International Sportspark, and Blacktown hospital (soon to be the third largest hospital in NSW) can provide the right university with unique offerings to its students.   

  • Warrick Lane is a new development next to Blacktown train station, and Council believes this will be the best option for a university – although there are several possible locations.

  • Blacktown is home to 182 languages. This is not only attractive to international students, but local students looking for a unique experience and the opportunity to make the community their own.

  • Council is undertaking a number of transformational development projects that will modernise the CBD and provide the opportunity for Blacktown to become The Talented City.  

  • Council is working with local and federal governments to garner support for a university at Blacktown.