Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor to open revamped Priestley Building

Inside the revamped Priestley Building following a 13-month works programme

Colleagues are invited to attend the formal opening of the Priestley Building – the new home of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Leeds.

Chancellor, Professor Dame Jane Francis, and Vice-Chancellor, Sir Alan Langlands, will perform the official honours on Monday 24 June, to be followed by a drinks reception.

You can register to attend the event, which takes place from 4-5pm on Level 10 of the Priestley Building.

And not only are colleagues invited to attend the ceremony, they are also encouraged to become members of the Priestley Centre.

With a focus on solutions-based interdisciplinary climate research, the Priestley Centre facilitates collaboration both across campus and with international colleagues.

Named after inspirational Yorkshire scientist, Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), who made fundamental discoveries necessary to understand climate change, the centre has specially commissioned artwork commemorating his life and work, which will be unveiled at the opening.

The Priestley Centre’s new meeting rooms are to be named after leading climate change influencers – climate scientist, Katharine Hayhoe, and diplomat, Christiana Figueres. Katharine Hayhoe has made it her mission to effectively communicate about climate change with disengaged and doubtful groups around the world, while Christiana Figueres is regarded as one of the main architects behind the Paris Agreement, particularly for getting rich and poor nations and the young and old together to affect positive change.

Growing the Priestley Centre’s reputation

Major works at the Priestley Building during the past 13 months have seen the existing undercroft area and Level 10 of the listed structure converted into modern premises for the Priestley Centre and parts of the School of Earth and Environment (SEE).

The new space will enable the Priestley Centre to grow and build on its reputation, providing offices for academic chairs, University Academic Fellowships, PhD students and administrative support staff. The airy, open-plan design of Level 10 provides vibrant interdisciplinary meeting and tutorial space, which will be used to host academic visitors and external partners, strengthening partnerships and executive education opportunities.

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Language Centre transformation underway

An innovative transformation of the Language Centre’s facilities have commenced.

Located in the historic Parkinson Building, the Centre is undergoing a significant transformation, predominantly over Levels 2 and 3, creating new state of the art teaching facilities for students and space for staff.

Students and staff will benefit from refurbished common and pastoral areas to provide a modern, attractive learning environment. A new reception/student support area and improved signage throughout the Language Centre. Improved classroom spaces with new audio visual equipment to enhance the learning experience. Sector-leading, technology enhanced innovative teaching spaces which will allow for collaborative teaching methods facilitated with technology. New breakout areas and private seating booths for group or individual study. Additional meeting and consultation rooms for 1 to 1 or group study sessions. New staff facilities including kitchen areas and breakout space. Improved lighting and ventilation to provide a more comfortable and energy efficient environment.

The project is scheduled to complete in autumn this year.

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Second Phase of the LUBS expansion is complete

Phase two of a multi-million pound project to develop new Leeds University Business School buildings is now complete. 

The Newlyn Building, on Mount Preston Street, provides central teaching space, specifically four flat-floor teaching rooms with a capacity for 100 people and four teaching rooms each with a capacity for 36 people.

Occupation of the building takes place from this month, with the Language Centre using the space for pre-sessional courses over the summer and teaching commencing in October.

Nick Scott, the Academic Lead for the £75 Million LUBS and Law Transformation programme which includes the Newlyn Building and other associated projects commented:

“We will continue to attract a high-quality, internationally diverse body of students and deliver an exceptional learning experience, comparable with other leading Schools, through providing an environment that supports students and staff to achieve their full potential, whilst maintaining our ability to enhance, innovate and adapt student education practices. The Newlyn Building is just one part of our programme that will enable us to achieve this vision.

Tamsin Barrow, Facilities Manager, Leeds University Business School added: “The Newlyn Building will provide additional Business School Teaching space. It is located closer to Western Campus which means our students have easy access to the Faculty and related spaces. We are continuing to work with Estates on our Faculty Strategy to create high quality facilities for our students to use.”

Following the completion of the Newlyn Building, Stage three of the LUBS investment project, will commence in November, with the construction of a new multi-storey teaching facility on Cloberry Street. It will be shared by LUBS, the School of Law and Central Teaching Space.  Prominent features of the building will include a new Trading Room, lecture theatres, flexible teaching areas and Behavioural Laboratories to provide more flexible and innovative ways of teaching.

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Wolfson Centre project is now complete

The £3.1m collaborative partnership between the University of Leeds, University of Bradford and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will open its doors in July.

The Centre, established beside Bradford Royal Infirmary, will bring together researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Bradford. It has been made possible thanks to a £1 million award from national charity the Wolfson Foundation, which awards grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, medicine, the arts and humanities, education and health and disability.

The 900m2, two-storey steel framed building, has been built and delivered by Sewell Construction. The building comprises of two large open plan office areas, a large seminar room and six smaller rooms to be used as meeting rooms or quiet rooms. It is cladded externally with brick work up to first floor and timber cladded from the first floor up to the roof. Over the construction period, 200m3 of concrete has been poured, 80 tonnes of steel erected, 15,000 bricks laid, 8 miles of electrical cable installed, 4 miles of heating / water pipework installed, 800 plasterboards used, 250 site inductions and 2,000 cups of tea consumed.

“It is a very attractive building and will make a big difference to health research, with experts coming together under one roof.

Mark Dodgson, Project Manager at Sewell Construction, said: “It has been great to work with an existing client – the University of Leeds – but also with two new clients – the University of Bradford and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

“With a single team approach, we worked collaboratively to ensure the smooth running of the project for everyone involved, meeting their needs and requirements for the building.

“The site had its own logistical challenges, as we were building in the middle of a very busy staff car park, and we needed to ensure pedestrians had continued safe access to other areas of the site.

“It is a very attractive building and will make a big difference to health research, with experts coming together under one roof.

“We’re delighted to have been able to create a brand new base for these teams to continue their fantastic work.”

Len Wilson, Deputy Director for Estate Services commented: “This was an exemplar scheme both in design and construction. The successful relationship between the three partner organisations has enabled the building to be delivered on time and budget.”

Health researchers will be based at the centre. It will allow the research to be put into practice by clinical staff on site to help provide better health and social care for people across Yorkshire.  The centre will also be home to charities and organisations.

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