Leicester University pledges unprecedented crunch-time investment towards providing elite education
In a bid to move in to the university elite of top ten in the UK, Leicester University has announced a £1billion pledge for campus development in the city. The move comes as a further boost to infrastructure investment in the UK which is set to buffer some of the negative effects of the crunch.
The university building programme will be one of the biggest ever undertaken in the sector and outlines plans for physical investment in the campus over the next 20years. Leicester University describe the investment as facilitating their ambition to provide ‘elite but not elitist’ education.
In a statement to the press the University acknowledged the move is daring in the current global financial climate but add: “Leicester is convinced that it must continue to invest in order to maintain its position and increase its success. The development is also expected to lead to the creation of several hundred jobs over the next 20 years.”
The new £786m Development Framework Plan builds on a £300m campus plan announced by the University in 2002 and will add 100,000 sq m to their current capacity allowing for 50% more students. It also hopes to provide 24 hour University facilities. At the heart of the strategy is the creation of high quality landscaped public spaces between buildings, with car parking and deliveries removed from view as far as possible, and publicly accessible buildings set around four new pedestrian squares. Leicester University’s David Wilson library by Associated Architects, won the East Midland RIBA award for architectural excellence earlier this year and it is hoped that further developments would be as architecturally successful.
The investment follows the UK Government’s announcement of a £9billion investment in schools over three years showing that infrastructure commitment is set to be at an all time high in the coming years.
Niki May Young