University plans £500m investment – including a space centre
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The University of Leicester has unveiled a £500m, 10-year plan to transform its campus.
The University says it will create new teaching facilities, improve accommodation and provide better public access.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the plan is the creation of a space park next to the Leicester Space Centre, which the University says will bring industry and academic research together.
Funding for the buildings and facilities will be split with £10m of university cash and £13m from The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP). The balance will come from the University’s annual income and a bond from its bank.
Plans are currently being drawn up and construction should get underway in 2019 for a 2020/21 start, according to reports in the Leicester Mercury.
Student accommodation blocks at Freemens Common will be knocked down and replaced with a mixture of single and shared accommodation, although the Freemens Cottages will remain.
A new multi storey car park will be created at the site along with a multi-purpose teaching and learning building.
The Mary Gee accommodation blocks, in Ratcliffe Road, will be refurbished.
The news comes on the back of the University’s plans for two new projects at its Brookfield campus on London Road to create a new home for the School for Business by renovating the 19th Century Brookfield House and surrounding buildings, and further work to complete the redevelopment of the Percy Gee Building, which houses the Students’ Union on the central campus.
Brita Sread, director of estates and campus services, at the university, said: “We’re committed to improving the quality of experience for all those who use our facilities be they students, staff or the public.
“The university has invested significantly in its estate – we have built our new Centre for Medicine and recently completed our Engineering Roof project which had a combined cost of over £60 million.
“As part of our new programme to transform our estate and ensure that we create a campus fit for the second century of our university, we plan to invest a further £500 million over the next 10 years.
“To continue to succeed as a university and to contribute to Leicester’s growth in a very competitive world, further investment in the university’s campus is vital.
“While our plans are still at the early stages, we want to talk to a wide range of people to set out our vision and listen to their ideas and feedback.
“We will be working closely with our students and staff but we also want to engage with people across the city.”