Leicester invests in mind and body
The University of Leicester’s commitment to excellence in research and teaching extends to the creation of high quality facilities that allow staff and students to utilise space for maximum benefit.
The University announced a £1 billion Development Framework Plan in 2008 and since then £52 million has been invested in new projects as well as improvements and major maintenance of the University’s estate. The University also has plans to invest significantly in the estate in the next five years with an anticipated capital investment programme of over £200 million.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: “For a University to be world-class it must have world-class facilities. We must attract the best staff to work here and create an environment in which we can nurture talent. Space must optimise opportunities for advances in research and teaching and for working with external stakeholders.”
In 2011, Leicester announced four new building projects amounting to over £64 million, in addition to a number of projects that are set to improve the campus. The building projects are:
• £12.6 million Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield Hospital
• £32.5 million New Medical Building
• £14 million project to transform a Grade II Listed former hall of residence into a conference centre
• £5 million to improve sports facilities, including creation of a 25m swimming pool
Pioneering research that benefits the local community is at the core of our mission and the University has launched a final £1 million public appeal to complete and equip a brand new Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield Hospital. The new state-of-theart research centre will impact radically on both the scale and quality of research and treatment of cardiovascular disease all over the UK.
The University is also planning to transform the five-acre former College Hall site in Knighton, which has not been used since 2005, into a high quality 117 en-suite bedroom conference facility with break-out rooms, dining facilities and a 150-seat lecture theatre.
Subject to planning permission, it will be the first time in the University’s history that an all-year-round conference facility will be available – currently residential conferences are only held at University facilities during the holidays. It would also allow the University to dedicate tailored facilities for academic and business conference needs.
The proposed New Medical Building will house research and teaching facilities and computer laboratories in one of the most energy efficient buildings of its kind in the UK. The University of Leicester has entered into an agreement with Regent College in order to develop the site – subject to planning permission – on land currently owned by Regent College at the corner of University Road and Lancaster Road.
Leicester’s plans for sports development have already been given the go-ahead and enhanced facilities for students, staff and the community will be created. This includes a swimming pool, large gym, aerobics studio and sauna and steam rooms.
The investment in improving body and mind reflects Leicester’s commitment to improve the environment for its students and staff as well as other users.
This article originally appeared in LE1 Autumn 2011.