University to invest £600 million to benefit research and student experience

Eco-friendly halls

Artist impression of new Vine Court Residences

The University of Liverpool is planning to invest £600 million in its facilities as part of its commitment to providing a world-class student experience and research environment.

The investment includes a £250 million redevelopment of the University’s student accommodation. Part of this investment – a £44million project to construct high-quality accommodation at the city centre campus – is already underway and is due to open in 2012. The 710-bedroom development will feature shops and a 250-seat restaurant and will be at the cutting edge of sustainable design. A further £350 million is earmarked for investment in the academic estate at its city centre campus and at its Leahurst campus on the Wirral.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Joe Anderson, said: “This isn’t small scale stuff. The University of Liverpool wants to punch its weight as one of the country’s leading universities and one of the finest research centres in the world. This investment will go a long way to helping it do just that.

“We have a lot to offer in Liverpool, and our city is perfectly placed to attract students from all over the world. We have a world-famous waterfront, one of Europe’s best shopping districts in Liverpool ONE, and a culture and nightlife to rival any city in the world.

“These proposals will also provide jobs and employment opportunities for local people, not to mention the promise of apprenticeships to help people gain vital experience in their trade. They will leave a lasting legacy of training and up-skilling the people of the city. I want to welcome this project, and look forward to watching it develop.”

Steve Dickson, Director of Facilities Management at the University, said: “We’re making these investments to support our Strategic Plan with particular emphasis on enhancing the student experience and research excellence.

“We know from market research that in order to attract the best students, the University needs to offer more accommodation at its city centre campus, particularly self-catered and en-suite rooms. Applications for our accommodation have doubled this year and it’s important that we make this significant investment in order to meet student demand in the future. The student population is very important to the city – students contribute around £300 million to Liverpool’s economy every year.

“Liverpool is an extremely popular choice for students and remains heavily over-subscribed but it’s important that all aspects of our student experience – including accommodation – are world class, in order to attract the most talented students to the University. We are intending to redevelop our existing accommodation on-campus and invest in new developments in order to offer the sort of accommodation students want from a world-leading university.”

As well as refurbishing existing accommodation, the University will develop new residences at its Mulberry Court and Alsop sites on Brownlow Hill, providing state-of-the art accommodation and further increasing the number of student rooms available on-campus. The University will also invest in its off-campus accommodation, developing new residences at its Greenbank site at Mossley Hill to provide a self-contained student village including catering and sports facilities. The University’s historic 18th century Greenbank House which was left to the University by the Rathbone family, will also benefit from a £5 million investment.

The teaching environment for science-based subjects is also being transformed with an investment of £25 million in state-of-the-art centralised teaching laboratories. The new facility, due for completion later in 2011, will be used across a variety of physical science-based subjects and aims to enhance the overall student experience through the creation of a modern, high quality and vibrant laboratory environment.

The University is also planning to invest £32 million in teaching facilities in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, £7.5 million in an extension to the Management School and £9 million in a refurbishment of its Guild of Students. Other exciting new developments include new student social space and a £4 million investment in sports facilities.

The first phase of the University’s proposed £70 million scientific research facility – which will ultimately accommodate more than 600 researchers in state-of-the art laboratories – will be completed in October 2011. The facility will provide an inter-disciplinary research environment to enable researchers to contribute more effectively to the major health challenges of the 21st century.


Artist impression of Central Teaching Labs

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