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London Met sells Cass Arts Whitechapel campus in £50m deal after student occupation

PUBLISHED: 09:59 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:59 24 February 2016

Central House when it was occupied by students... now sold off for £50m [photos: Steven King]

Central House when it was occupied by students... now sold off for £50m [photos: Steven King]

Steven king

The controversial Cass Arts university campus building occupied by students in London’s East End before Christmas has now been sold off.

Supporter pushes food supplies through letter box when students occupied Central House in Whitechapel before ChristmasSupporter pushes food supplies through letter box when students occupied Central House in Whitechapel before Christmas

London Metropolitan has let the six-storey Central House in Whitechapel High Street go for £50 million in a deal with to Frasers Property UK, it has emerged this week.

It signals the closure of the Cass Arts campus at Whitechapel by 2017 with 3,000 students having to move to north London.

The cash is being ploughed into the university’s £125m expansion of its Holloway campus to bring all courses onto a single site, including both the Cass Arts campus in Whitechapel and the university Business School at Moorgate.

“We can confirm that the sale of Central House has been completed,” a London Met spokesman told the East London Advertiser.

Protest against closure of Whitechapel campus outside London Met's main site in Holloway in December 2015Protest against closure of Whitechapel campus outside London Met's main site in Holloway in December 2015

“We notified students and staff on Friday and reassured them that we will maintain use of the building until August, 2017.”

The proposed campus closure and sell-off led to the resignation of the Cass Vice Chancellor Prof Robert Mull in December.

Details of the deal have now been sent to Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs, who has tried to stop the Whitechapel closure, and to MP Rushanara Ali.

The sell-off has disappointed the students whose protests ended up with December’s mass occupation and a “window” protest.

One protest organiser said: “The consultation has been a mockery when the sale of Central House has already been pushed through. “It’s sad. The closure has been disruptive to our education.”

The university has already sold off other Whitechapel campus buildings in Commercial Road and Old Castle Street. It closed down the famous Women’s Library in Old Castle Street in 2013.

All three buildings are being leased back by the university from their new owners for the next two years until they are ready to close the Cass Arts campus and move out by 2017.

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