A YORK university is planning a multi-million pound investment in the city - and even eyeing a move to the capital.

York St John University has revealed it has plans for a significant development in York, and has wider ambitions to make a move into London.

The university, which has existed in York since 1841 and is the city’s oldest higher education institution, is in the early stages of planning a major new building worth £15 million.

Laura Hallett, the university’s head of strategic projects and change, revealed the plans at a conference for the construction trade in Yorkshire.

She told delegates that York St John is due to start work on a £15 million "Creative Centre” building in 2019.

Design work is already under way on what it plans will be a 4,500 sq ft centre across three storeys, consisting of three buildings linked by an atrium.

The new facility will feature a “showcase exhibition space” and is due to open in 2020, she added.

The university’s spokesman has confirmed the plans are being drawn up, but said little else can be revealed at this early stage.

The news has been welcomed by the city councillor responsible for economic development.

Cllr Keith Orrell said: “Investment in the city is always welcome and whilst it is not clear what a Creative Centre would deliver we would want to work with the university to enhance the work that is already happening in the city.

“Clearly these proposals are at an early stage of their development. I would be delighted to meet with representatives of the university to learn more about them and work out how their plans fit with local economic strategies.”

At the same event, Ms Hallett said York St John is set to open a new campus in London, and is on the hunt for a suitable site.

The university is currently a site of around 10,000 sq ft, Ms Hallett said, with the hope that a new London campus will give the York students chance to “supercharge” their final year of study and develop meaningful relationships with industry and professional contacts in the city.

The Built Environment Networking Conference held in Leeds earlier this month also heard from a Yorkshire university boss who warned counterparts against taking financial risks on landmark new buildings.

Colin Blair from the University of Huddersfield said that fine margins on finances would lead to small changes in student numbers having big impact - a risk that is worrying when there are already concerns over overseas student numbers.

The news of York St John’s new building plans comes two-and-a-half years after university bosses backed out of a deal over the new community stadium.

The university had been planning an “Institute of Community Sport” as part of the Monks Cross development, but in 2015 dropped that deal.

At the time, university chief operating officer David Chesser said York St John had “undergone changes to its estate” making the stadium plan commercially unviable. With new sports facilities opening at Nestlé Rowntree Park on Haxby Road, the university no longer needed sports facilities at the stadium site, he added.

The university was also lined up to buy Union Terrace car park, close to its campus, in 2011 until the city council scrapped the deal amid a public outcry.

At the moment, York St John is centred around an 11 acre campus on Lord Mayor’s Walk, which it says has undergone a £100 million transformation over the last decade, although it is not yet clear where the Creative Centre will be built.