FAQs

  • Percy Gee
  • Brookfield

Percy Gee Building

What is the Percy Gee Building?

The Percy Gee Building houses the Students’ Union of the University of Leicester.

It was one of the first of several mid-20th Century buildings which contributed to the present character of the University. It is currently one of the University’s larger buildings at over 8,500m2.

The Percy Gee Building underwent an award-winning transformation between 2008 and 2011, allowing it to become the accessible and thriving multi-purpose building that is today. Percy Gee is often considered as the entrance to the campus.

Who was Percy Gee?

The building is named after H. Percy Gee (1874-1962), a director of the local shoe firm Stead and Simpson, who was an early benefactor and promoter of the University.

Hasn’t Percy Gee been re-developed recently?

Yes – we worked hard to redevelop the building in 2010. This successfully transformed the building to become a much more suitable home for our Students’ Union. The works involved creating a vibrant atria space which is now very popular with students as a social meeting and working space. The work also significantly improved the building’s accessibility.

However, the whole of the building wasn’t redeveloped back in 2010. As a result, the current relationship between Percy Gee and other buildings on the campus is poor. There is no direct connection between the atria and the newly completed Fielding Johnson Square which sits to the east side of Percy Gee. Our new Percy Gee East Wing proposal aims to create a direct link between the atria and the square.

What do our proposals mean for Percy Gee?

We are proposing to increase and improve the facilities on offer at Percy Gee, while better connecting it to other buildings on our campus. Percy Gee will remain as a Students Union building and home to public facilities, such as the O2 Academy Leicester.

Our proposals involve building an extension which will provide more multi-use space, such as for study and social learning, as well as extensive catering facilities. This will provide a new and improved space that better suits the requirements of the Union and the University, as well as enabling enable a series of other improvement projects to proceed within the wider University estate.

Our proposals also provide a new façade to the East Wing to will deliver another welcoming and active frontage to the Students’ Union, and enhance the newly-built Fielding Johnson Square.

What is the ambition for Percy Gee following these proposals?

Percy Gee will continue to play a central role for the University of Leicester at the heart of our campus. Remaining home to our Student’s Union, the additional and improved facilities will encourage more of our students and team to use the building for academic and social purposes.

The development will also act as an essential enabling activity, paving the way for more projects within our Capital Delivery Programme.

What will happen to existing facilities within the Percy Gee Building?

All existing facilities currently on offer within the Percy Gee Building will continue to be available.

Information on individual high-profile facilities:

O2 Academy Leicester – the live music and club venue will remain in the Percy Gee Building.

Radio Studio – it is anticipated that the radio station (broadcasting suite) will remain in Percy Gee, although it may be relocated to another unit within the building. There is a small radio booth on the ground floor and a larger media room (for broadcast) on the third floor.

Queen’s Hall

The proposals to extend the Percy Gee Building intend to deliver significant benefits for our students and staff. As well as the new and spacious food court, the proposals would also double the amount of available social learning space and deliver a new informatics lab for students. Another key aspiration of the proposals is to achieve an important new connection between the Percy Gee Building and the new Fielding Johnson Square.

Establishing this connection between the Percy Gee Building and Fielding Johnson Square does mean that Queen's Hall would not be retained in its current form. We consider this new visible connection to be a vital part of the proposals which will bring more life and activity to the heart of the campus.

Having said that, the team appreciate many people’s affection for the Hall and its role as the venue for some of the cultural highlights in the University’s history. We are committed to celebrating this rich cultural heritage and will look to work with people interested in the history of Queen’s Hall as this project moves forward. We are keen to record people’s memories of key events that have taken place within the Hall and will be looking for ways to achieve a creative reinterpretation of this cultural heritage within the new part of the building.

The proposals also consider the current use of Queen’s Hall as a facility for students and the wider community. Our proposals for Percy Gee include a flexible new event space with the same floor space as the existing Queen's Hall, which can be used by clubs and societies requiring space for hire. We will also be investing in The Scholar's Bar to improve its quality and capacity. Once refurbished, it is anticipated that The Scholar's Bar will have the same capacity as Queen's Hall. It will be able to continue to serve as an important venue and ensure that the Students' Union can continue to attract and host live music events for years to come.

When will construction works take place?

The project team is currently working to undertake all of the necessary assessment and design ahead of submitting a planning application. If the proposals are granted planning permission, it is anticipated that construction may start in February 2018.

Wherever possible, the heaviest construction works will take place outside of student term time.

How long will construction last?

Construction is targeted to take until September 2019.

Will you be using local firms and labour?

It is too early in the process for contractors to have been appointed to this project.

If the proposals are granted planning permission, a suitable procurement process will be put in place to select the most appropriate firms.

Will there be significant levels of traffic and other disruption during construction?

Construction and traffic management plans will be agreed upon ahead of construction, which will include measures to mitigate against potential disruption.

What will be the hours of construction during the enhancement works?

A construction management plan will be agreed upon ahead of works taking place, which will outline suitable working hours for contractors to adhere to.

Will construction impact ongoing activities at the university?

The team recognise that the Percy Gee Building is a popular site among a vibrant and well-populated campus. It is important that the areas outside of the Percy Gee East Wing site remain functional whenever possible. It is anticipated that other activities will not be disrupted other than some limited periods for breaking through. At these times, special arrangements will be agreed between the University and Students’ Union well in advance.

Will current students be impacted by construction works?

At the University of Leicester we are committed to making sure our students have the best possible experience during their time with us. This ambition is a key motivation behind the proposals to improve our campus and extend the Percy Gee Building, but it will also be a main consideration during the required construction work.

Please be assured that all possible steps will be taken to minimise contractor disruption on site, and measures will be taken to mitigate against potential impacts to our staff, students and neighbours during the works. Some measures will be stipulated by the Local Planning Authority, and others will be covered by a Considerate Constructors Scheme that will be agreed. Term time disruption will be minimised as much as possible whilst working in an occupied building and maintaining current operations.

How can I have my say about these proposals?

We undertook public consultation on these proposals in July 2017, prior to the submission of a planning application. We received useful feedback from both staff and students and members of the local community, which has been fed into our plans.

Brookfield

What is the purpose of these enhancement works?

These proposals will bring Brookfield back to its former glory and upgrade its facilities. It will remain in teaching and University office use but willbecome the home of the University’s School of Business rather than the Post Graduate Centre and admin offices.

What do the Brookfield enhancement proposals include?

Our proposals for Brookfield include modest extension and refurbishment:

Renovation of the original house and stable blocks to bring them back into use.
Redevelopment of an extension to the main building to provide a brand new lecture theatre and seminar rooms.
Upgrading of office space and facilities.

Following development, will there be people on site for longer into the evening?

We would expect the site to be used over a wide portion of the day, and possibly later in the evening than it is currently (7pm), but nothing is currently confirmed. This will be a decision for the School of Business.

Is the number of staff/students who use the Brookfield site likely to increase following this development?

The number of staff on the site is likely to decrease. As the site is currently used by our postgraduate students, the potential number of students using it is lower, but there will be more timetabled teaching, so the actual number of students using it may increase.

Is Brookfield a listed building? How have the proposals ensured that the designs are sympathetic/sensitive to the Stoneygate Conservation Area in which it is located?

No, Brookfield is not a listed building but it sits within the Stoneygate Conservation Area.

We appreciate Brookfield’s historic setting in the Conservation Area. Our proposals have been carefully designed to respond to this in a sympathetic and sensitive way. For instance, we plan to redevelop one of the later additions to the house in a manner that is more in-keeping with heritage principles.

Are there any TPO trees on site at Brookfield and will these be affected by the enhancement works?

The City Council’s records do not show any TPOs, but as the site is in a conservation area there will be existing protections, which will be taken into account.

(For the team’s information, previous BDP scheme did result in the loss of a centrally located Yew Tree, close to the pond. However, the revised SEH scheme allows that tree to be retained.)

Will any trees be removed as part of the works?

Please be assured that a sympathetic and considered landscaping scheme would be implemented to improve the landscaping of the site as part of the proposals. It is the team’s objective for existing trees to be retained wherever possible and, as the site is located within a Conservation Area, all the trees are afforded a level of protection which means that express consent would be required from the local authority for any removal.

When will construction works take place?

We are currently working to undertake all of the necessary assessment and design ahead of submitting a planning application. If the proposals are granted planning permission, it is anticipated that construction may start in February 2018.

How long will construction last?

Construction is targeted to be complete by Easter 2019.

Will you be using local firms and labour?

It is too early in the process for contractors to have been appointed to this project.

If the proposals are granted planning permission, a suitable procurement process will be put in place to select the most appropriate firms.

Will there be significant levels of traffic and other disruption during construction?

Construction and traffic management plans will be agreed upon ahead of construction, which will include measures to mitigate against potential disruption. Most of the buildings are located within the centre of the site. Existing access points will be used and we will insist upon a ‘considerate contractor’ to ensure that there is minimal disruption to our neighbours.

What will be the hours of construction during the enhancement works?

A construction management plan will be agreed upon ahead of works taking place, which will outline suitable working hours for contractors to adhere to.

Will parking along the surrounding streets be affected as a result of this development?

We will be promoting sustainable transport options for students and staff to travel to and from Brookfield. The site is on the main bus route from student halls in Oadby, and a mere 10 minute walk from the main campus. We expect that the vast majority of students will not be driving to the site and will instead choose to walk, cycle or get the bus.

We will be investing in extensive facilities for cyclists, including approximately 300 bike parking spaces.

The site has a large car park in situ which is for staff use, which will be retained. The University has made good progress in recent years in reducing single occupancy car journeys to and from the University and will continue to encourage the adoption of more sustainable means of transport.

How can I have my say about these proposals?

We undertook public consultation on these proposals in July 2017, prior to the submission of a planning application. We received useful feedback from both staff and students and members of the local community, which has been fed into our plans.

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