Inside Track - 20 January 2016 - Dennis Hopper

My Week – the year ahead: implementing our campus development plan.

The University’s campus development plan is now complete and we have been busy presenting the key points of the plan to colleagues and internal audiences, including Senate, Council and Court. The recent ‘Investing in Knowledge, Creating Opportunity’ impact event gave the Facilities team a welcome chance to also engage with audiences from outside the University, and we plan to continue to take our messages to more external stakeholders and people interested in the development of the University campus and facilities. We recently hosted the Leeds Civic Trust, presenting the campus development plan to its members, and we also recently presented our plan to the Leeds Planning Panel, giving them a tour of the campus to highlight the key development areas. Ongoing consultation and discussion are vital components in the implementation of our plan, and we are currently planning a consultation event with members of the local community.

The key to understanding the campus development plan is to recognise that it is rooted in the University’s Strategic Plan, with its ambitions for the growth and development of our research capability, academic cohort and the student body. The campus development plan has been explicitly formulated to support and answer these needs. Although we have completed, and are planning, the construction of new buildings –work on the University Centre for Innovation and Enterprise and the Engineering and Physical Sciences development will both begin in the next year – the plan is not purely about new projects. It also encompasses a huge amount of enhancement, upgrading and maintenance works taking place on campus. As well as the significant ongoing refurbishments in the Schools of Medicine and Engineering and the Edward Boyle Library, we are also carrying out many smaller projects and works relating to campus infrastructure, pedestrianisation, separation of traffic, and maximising our green spaces. Current works alone are costing in the region of £150m – and much more is planned for the future.

There is an enormous amount of work taking place and still to come. The summer, in particular, will see a peak in activity on campus and there may be some temporary road closures, diversions and background noise, for which I apologise in advance. The Estates department itself is not immune from upheaval and we have a big move coming up later in the spring when we relocate to temporary accommodation near the Bright Beginnings nursery. However, by September some key projects will be completed – the extension and refurbishment of the Institute for Transport Studies, the relocation of Fine Art to the remodelled old Geography building, and the first phase of improvements to the Edward Boyle Library – and I hope that once colleagues see the results they will agree that any disruption was worth it.

You can watch our progress and sign up for email updates via our new Campus Developments website We’ll also be running regular news items and features on For Staff and in the Reporter, so that colleagues are aware of what’s happening and when, and can look forward to watching the projects outlined in our campus development plan become a reality.

Dennis Hopper

Director of Facilities Management

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