We continue to invest heavily in the overall University estate and this year have spent almost £10 million improving the facilities for our students and staff and providing state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces.
Multi-million STEM Centre opened
Our new £12 million STEM Centre was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex in September 2017, in front of key stakeholders and industry representatives. The Centre, based at our Markeaton Street site, opened its doors to students, allowing them to benefit from solutions-focused and industry-linked projects, and enabling them to develop the technical and professional skills required for their careers after graduation. His Royal Highness was given a tour of the building, and met with staff, students and representatives from industry before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the opening. The Centre was built in response to the needs of industry in the region and is designed to provide our students with the best possible environment in which to study STEM subjects. Closing the skills gap is a key part of the Midlands Engine strategy and this is something we are committed to playing a major part in.
In September, the final phase of the £2.6 million laboratory refurbishments were completed for the College of Life and Natural Sciences. This was a technically challenging project as there were some complex mechanical issues to overcome, which included changing the skyline of the city with the removal and replacement of rooftop equipment. The finished result provides our students with modern facilities that will allow them to thrive in their industry and explore new opportunities.
Over at our Markeaton Street site, we delivered a new £1.1 million creative and learning space for our journalism students, which included new video editing suites, a social computing space and a pop-up TV studio.
A fond farewell
In October, we said goodbye to our Director of Estates, Ian Willgoose, who retired after 30 years spent at the University. Shortly after retiring, Ian was awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2018, for his services to higher education.