Placer County emphasizes partnership in bringing University of Warwick undergraduate campus to Placer County

Plans to bring a University of Warwick campus to Placer County moved forward today with the board of supervisors voting to front some county staff costs of planning and permitting for the project.

Placer County is partnering with the University Development Foundation to bring a comprehensive undergraduate campus of  the United Kingdom-based university to Placer – expected to be a major boon to the regional economy and improve higher education opportunities for area residents.

The board’s decision authorizes the county Community Development Resource Agency Planning Division to permit a delay of reimbursement of an estimated $393,392 in staff costs until land planned for future residences included in the Regional University Specific Plan can be sold to fund development of the campus.

Warwick, recently ranked sixth among the U.K.’s top 10 institutions, looks to become the first foreign university to launch an institution in the United States with a 600-acre campus in Placer County and graduate school in Roseville. The university aims to have an undergraduate campus supporting around 6,000 students by 2031.

“I think it would be wise for us to take this step because this is clearly in our long-term economic interest,” said District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler. “We know Warwick is putting a lot on the line to make this happen, and this is another statement of our partnership in this venture.”

In a signal towards Warwick’s commitment to the region, in March, the university secured a location in Roseville for its future graduate campus. Warwick intends to open the graduate campus in September 2018.

By year ten, the University of Warwick’s economic benefit to Placer County and region is expected to be:

  • $584.2 million in direct and indirect economic impact on the greater Sacramento economy;

  • $110 million in new labor supporting and estimated 1,250 jobs, in addition to supporting about 2,300 jobs and $74.8 million in annual payroll at other local businesses;

  • $112.9 million annually in employee purchasing, creating jobs and local business revenue;

  • $96.1 million in university spending for purchases of goods and services that could support another 1,100 jobs in the region; and

  • $1.5 billion spent on construction activity could create 12,800 jobs and an economic impact of $2.36 billion in the greater Sacramento region.

“I think this is a very unique situation,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “I don’t want this to be taken as carte blanche for all development projects that come forward, but I think in this particular instance — because of the incredible value both economically and educationally for Placer County residents — I think this is a fantastic action for us to be taking.”