The University of New Brunswick is planning to lease some of its substantial undeveloped land holdings to generate cash for the school.

The university owns about 4,000 acres of land between the Regent Mall and New Trans-Canada Highway.

The university plans to allow seven per cent of the UNB woodlot to be leased out over the next 10 years, and in the the long term, as much as 50 per cent may be developed.

UNB campus facilities vice president Mike Ryan says the remaining 50 per cent will be preserved as a conservation area.

Ryan says leasing the land will provide much-needed money to benefit students and the university.

"You know there are various ways at looking at the calculations, but the revenue potential by the end of 2010 be somewhere around $3 million. While thats a modest amount in terms of the total amount of revenue to the university, it could mean somewhere around 1,000 scholarships."

Ryan says the new section of the Trans-Canada Highway has added extra pressure to develop sections of the woodlot. "People say here is an exit into Fredericton. All of the sudden that land has value, and its of interest to us. So what we found was there was phone inquires, written inquiries, people that thought it had great development potential came to the university and made offers."

UNB has hired a consultant to help guide the development of the woodlots. The next step is to seek an amendment to the Fredericton Municipal plan. If approved, development could begin as early as next spring.