Refurbishment of Montague Burton Halls of Residence complete

The project that began in March 2016 to create larger accommodation blocks and a social space at Montague Burton was completed in Autumn 2018. 

The new accommodation layout offers a number of nine bedroom flats with a kitchen, dining room, lounge, three showers, and three toilets as well as a four bedroom flats with kitchen, dining room/lounge with a shower and toilet.

A key objective of the refurbishment at Montague Burton was to improve communal space across the entire site. By re-designing the layout of each flat, we were able to provide our residents with dedicated areas to come together, both socially and academically further enhancing their student experience. The project will culminate in the summer of 2019 with the construction of a social hub creating a centralised meeting space for all residents of Montague Burton.

The new social hub is in the centre of the of the complex and opens onto the barbeque area and has a table tennis table and gym equipment.

This refurbishment project will enhance the student experience with its improved social spaces.

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School of Healthcare Refurbishment

The £1.6M investment to upgrade academic and teaching-led research space in the School of Healthcare has been completed. 

The dymanic programme included:

  • Expanding and relocating the PhD facilities;
  • Refurbishing current facilities;
  • Creating a vibrant research environment;
  • Developing a new central hub for the Student Education Service;
  • Expanding clinical facilities.

These new facilities will enable increased research activity and provide excellent student education and experience.



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Priestley Centre is open

This autumn the new collaborative space for the Priestley International Centre for Climate opened. 

The exciting £7.5M project to develop the School of Earth and Environment and create the new Priestley Centre has now been completed.

This project involved transforming the former ground level car park into a new ground floor of the building as well as refurbishing the upper floors, thereby creating new multi–disciplinary meeting and teaching spaces for staff and PhD students.

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New eye-catching scientific sculpture

A dramatic sculpture honouring revolutionary science will be in a prominent position on the side of the new Engineering and Physical Sciences development.

The two-storey artwork by Sara Barker has been granted approval by Leeds City Council planning department. The sculpture will feature on the outside of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building, which is under construction in Woodhouse Lane. It honours Sir William’s pioneering research in developing X-ray crystallography at the University in the early 20th century. Bragg and his son Lawrence were awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work. Within the sculpture lies symbolism that alludes to the Bragg equation, which explains the relationship between X-rays directed onto a crystal and their diffraction from the crystal, allowing the atomic structure of materials to be investigated. Parts of the sculpture will be finished with iridescent paint which refracts light rather than creating colour by pigment, so it changes colour as viewed from different angles. This type of iridescent paint was developed by Professor Helen Gleeson, the current Cavendish Professor of Physics at Leeds – the same position held by Bragg in his day.

The new building is due to open in late summer 2020. The dramatic sculpture reflects the University’s ambition to deliver a step change in the research activity in engineering and physical sciences, to enhance a culture of multi-disciplinary working, and support significant advances in our understanding of the physical world. The artwork physically refuses to be pinned down by media, sitting between the qualities of drawing, collage, textile, painting, and sculpture. It draws our eye to shapes and symbols suspended in a delicately woven metal tableau.

Sara Barker said: “I want the sculptural language to shout out to the powerful advances happening in the physical sciences at the University, and also to the rich history of the University in its broadest sense, for the sculpture to reveal itself over time and become part of the fabric of the building. I hope the forms found in the sculpture provoke questions, as people discover the scientific lettering of Bragg’s famous equation, and also a more patterned and playful narrative of molecular and textile and crystallographic structure. But frankly, this is an artwork and it has to be captivating on a level we can’t articulate, and as an artist, the moment of truth is in seeing ideas thought through by hand in the studio, tactile and intimate, forcibly evolve into the monumental and concrete.”

Dr Jim Young, Programme Director for the building at the University of Leeds says: “We are extremely pleased with the news that this beautiful artwork has received planning permission from the city council. It is a unique and intelligent piece of art and I look forward to seeing it in all its glory.”

Sara Barker was born in Manchester in 1980. She was educated at Glasgow School of Art and University of Glasgow. Significant solo exhibitions include The faces of older images, Mary Mary, Glasgow (2017), a weak spot in the earth, The Approach, London (2017)  CHANGE-THE-SETTING, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2016). Past commissions include Last of Light (3 needles) Angel Court Piazza, London (2017), warp- and weft-, CASS Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, West Sussex (2015). She will also be working with Leeds Art Gallery (2020) to coincide with the new commission at the University.


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Exciting improvement plans for the Roger Stevens Cooling Pond

Work has begun at the Roger Stevens cooling pond as part of a multi-disciplinary University project, that will not only visually enhance the landscape outside the Roger Stevens Building, but will also provide research led teaching opportunities for our students.

This innovative project has been led by Estates Services and has involved The Leeds Living Lab, in collaboration with colleagues from University–wide departments including, Sustainability, and Schools of Biology, Geography and Civil Engineering. Teams worked together to co-create a solution for the Roger Stevens pond that enhances amenity value, enhances biodiversity, improves natural water quality, reduces operational cost and provides an innovative space for interdisciplinary, research-led teaching.

The installation of sensors within the pool will also provide live data on water quality and a variety of environmental parameters, this will be made available to staff and students for teaching and research use.


Leonard Wilson, Deputy Director for Estates Services commented:“The scheme has been designed to create an extra ‘green’ dimension to this part of the campus and help biodiversity in the area. Once the planting has been established and the neutrality of the water is in balance, it is also hoped to introduce fish to the pond.The duck house will also continue to remain at the pond side, and we envisage they too will benefit from the new improved environment.  This year we had two broods, which have now flown south, but we look forward to welcoming them back in the spring when the pool will be more established and flourishing.”

The Leeds Living Lab drives the University’s commitment to embedding sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation. It brings together students, academic and operational staff to research and test sustainable solutions, enhance our curriculum and solve real world challenges using the University as a test-bed.

A Living Lab Placement Student in the School of Biology, will ensure that staff and students can access to data for teaching and research use. It also seeks to be a centre of academic research such as a recently started study into the effects of the water body on the heat island effect of the surrounding architecture.

With connections to Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching modules in all the Schools involved, the collaborative approach has sought to ensure the pond can meet the demands of student assessed projects, field practice and dissertations whilst also delivering an innovative, sustainable solution as part of the University Landscape Strategy.

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Defibrillators on Campus

Lifesaving defibrillators installed on Campus

17 new locations have been identified for the installation of lifesaving defibrillators across the University Campus. This is part of the University’s on-going commitment to improve health and safety provision on campus for staff, students and the wider local community, and now takes the provision of defibrillators on campus to 30. The new locations are detailed below and have been added to the campus map (click on the facilities tab) making it easier for anyone to locate their nearest defibrillator location.

  • Reception in CAPE
  • Outside Roger Stevens
  • Outside the Facilities Directorate building
  • Outside the multi-storey car park
  • Outside the Psychology building
  • Outside Pure Café, level 9 in Worsley
  • Miall reception
  • Conference Auditorium
  • In the reception areas of Charles Morris
  • In the reception area of Central Village
  • In the reception area of Devonshire Hall
  • Outside Fairbairn House Clarendon Road
Defibrillators in the following locations will be installed in the coming months.
  • In the courtyard of Clothworkers Court
  • In the reception area of Sir William Henry Bragg Building
  • In the reception area of NEXUS
  • Outside the reception area of Henry Price
  • Sports Park Weetwood to cover pitches and public access areas

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of premature death. SCA occurs because the electrical rhythm that controls the heart is interrupted. A defibrillator is a device that gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest walls to someone who is in cardiac arrest. This high energy shock is called defibrillation. The quicker the patient can be given shocks in combination with cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the greater the chance of successful resuscitation.

Defibrillators are easy to use and are very effective. They are designed to be used by anyone so training is not required. A defibrillator unit will issue verbal instructions and guide the user through its use. The units will not issue a shock unless the heart requires it – therefore they are safe to use and cannot be used on someone who is not experiencing SCA. Additionally, the units themselves require very little routine maintenance.


If you are faced with an emergency follow these steps:

  1. Call the University Security Services Team on 0113 343 2222 and Emergency Services on 999.
  2. Follow their instructions, they will give you the code to open the external Defibrillator cabinet. Internal cabinets have no locks fitted and can be accessed directly in the event of an emergency but Security Services MUST also be called.
  3. Seek help from another person to commence cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while the defibrillator is obtained. If you are alone, commence CPR if confident to do so, and await the arrival of Security Services.
  4. Follow the instructions on how to use the defibrillator, a colleague from Security Services will arrive to assist at the scene.


Dennis Hopper, Director Campus Development said: “Strengthening the provision of defibrillators and increasing their accessibility across campus is a major step forward for the University. They have been located in publicly accessible areas of all large multi-floor buildings, and externally across campus which are easily accessible for all other buildings. They are bright and noticeable which makes them easy to identify in an emergency. I’d advise staff and students, if they see a defibrillator located on campus, to stop a moment and familiarise themselves with the instructions printed on the outside casing.

“We are grateful for the partnership with Yorkshire Ambulance Service, who have been highly supportive of our ambition to increase the number of defibrillators across the campus. The Service advised us on how best to proceed in terms of the distribution of the defibrillators across campus to ensure that all areas were covered and that travel times to access a defibrillator were kept to an acceptable reasonable minimum. We have registered the defibrillators on the NHS regional database, which means, when the ambulance service is contacted in an emergency, they are able to immediately inform the caller of the nearest defibrillator unit.”


Learn how to perform CPR and AED

If you are interested in training to perform CPR and use automated defibrillators go along to the Restart a Heart Day event, hosted by Leeds Medical Students, on 10 October outside Leeds University Union.

This is a voluntary group of 40 Leeds medical students who are trained by Yorkshire Ambulance Service as Community First Responders (CFRs). The group aims to have a pair on-call close to 24/7 to then be dispatched to high priority 999 calls in the local area ahead of ambulance crews. The group is also increasingly involved in outreach and education, both on and off campus. At the event, staff and students will be taught how to perform CPR and use an AED

New Facilities management system for Estates

The University has made a substantial investment into a new computer-aided facilities management software system. This system will enable Estates Services to work more efficiently and effectively to deliver improved customer service.

The system, which is computer based, will be used to maintain and improve the condition of the University’s buildings and assets to a standard that meets statutory compliance whilst minimising costs. It will ensure our staff within the DLO (Direct Labour Organisation) can maximise both reactive and planned maintenance. It will also help us improve our processes as we will have a single database that will hold records of the University Estate to enable effective management of University assets – providing an improved service to students and staff, with minimal disruption.

Matthew Tidmarsh, Deputy Director – Operations at the University of Leeds, explains “This system represents a significant business process change for the Facilities Directorate and especially Estates Services at the University of Leeds. It will help transform the way in which we manage and deliver a wide range of our services and its potential impact shouldn’t be underestimated. For our customers this will mean an improved service for maintenance work – the new automated system will allow us to be more reactive to customer needs.”

The benefits of this system will include:

  • Improved Estates Helpdesk Facility
  • Mobile technology to improve reactive maintenance
  • Integrated and improved management of University spaces
  • Improved management information about the campus and other University assets.
  • Estates Service will become more streamlined with operational and maintenance activities.

Next steps

The implementation phase will begin in July with 50 users in the first rollout. They will be members of staff based in Estates, more specifically Maintenance and Operations.

For further details on this project contact:

Russell Allen
CAFM Project Manager

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University of Leeds campus development, from the beginning

Our campus has developed significantly over the years, read below how we’ve grown to become one of the largest university campuses in the UK…

1894 – The Great Hall completed

January 1, 1894

1894 – The Great Hall completed

Construction started on The Great Hall in 1884 and took ten years to complete. Along with the Clothworkers Buildings and Baines Wing, the building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse – famous for his works on the Natural History Museum in London. The red brick style Waterhouse used for the buildings helped to coin the term ‘red brick university’.

1904 – The University of Leeds is born

January 1, 1904

The Yorkshire College became the University of Leeds when it was granted a Royal Charter as an independent body by King Edward.

1928 – Devonshire Hall built

January 1, 1928

1928 – Devonshire Hall built

Devonshire Hall was the first purpose-built halls of residence for students of the University of Leeds. The Grade II listed building encompasses six annexes; R block, Old Hall, Ruse, Ridgefield, Elmfield, and Springhill. Modern, purpose-built buildings were constructed in the nineties; The Orchards (1993), North Lawn (1994), and the Grosvenor complex (1994).

1936 – Brotherton Library completed

January 1, 1936

1936 – Brotherton Library completed

Before the Brotherton Library was built, the undercroft of The Great Hall housed all of the University’s library collections. In 1927, Edward Brotherton donated £100,000 to the University to fund its first purpose-built library. Today, the Beaux-Arts building is Grade II listed.

1939 – New Students Union built

January 1, 1939

1939 – New Students Union built

A gift of £25,000 was given to the University from W Riley-Smith to build a new Students Union in 1939. The building was extended in the 1960s as part of architects’ Chamberlin, Powell and Bon development plan for the University campus, and again in the late 1990s. In 2016, Leeds University Union, still homed in the original building, underwent a major refurbishment, including creating improved performance venues and facilities for societies.

1951 – The Parkinson Building officially opened

January 1, 1951

1951 – The Parkinson Building officially opened

Construction started on the Parkinson Building in 1938 and during the war the building was used as a Ministry of Food storeroom – it was not opened as a University building until 1951. The Grade II listed art deco building stands at 57 metres tall and was named after a major benefactor of the University, Frank Parkinson, who oversaw many new build projects from 1936 onwards.

1961 – Mechanical Engineering Building completed

January 1, 1961

1961 – Mechanical Engineering Building completed

The Mechanical Engineering Building is part of a sequence of buildings along Woodhouse Lane designed by Allan Johnson, which also features the Civil Engineering Building (1960) and the Electronic Engineers Building (1963). Mechanical Engineering features a bold fibreglass relief mural above the entrance, executed by Alec Dearnby.

1968 – EC Stoner Building built

January 1, 1968

1968 – EC Stoner Building built

When the EC Stoner Building was built, it contained the longest stretch of corridor in Europe. At over a fifth of a mile long it’s still one of the longest, and forms part of the University’s infamous ‘red route’.

1970 – Roger Stevens Building built

December 12, 2018

1970 – Roger Stevens Building built

One of the many University buildings designed by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon – as a small part of a wider campus plan – the brutalist, concrete clad Roger Stevens Building is now Grade II listed.

1975 – Edward Boyle Library opened

January 1, 1975

1975 – Edward Boyle Library opened

With the rapid expansion in higher education after WWII, student numbers at the University grew enormously. As a result, architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon were appointed to develop a buildings strategy for an extensive teaching precinct. Part of this plan was the Edward Boyle Library (then the South Library), designed to act as the University’s undergraduate library, offering students core course materials and new teaching spaces. The Edward Boyle Library received a multimillion pound refurbishment in 2016. The interior design reflects the Brutalist and distinctive exterior design and shape of the Chamberlin, Powell and Bon buildings.

1999 – Maurice Keyworth Building acquired

January 1, 1999

1999 – Maurice Keyworth Building acquired

The Leeds University Business School (LUBS) acquired the 19th-century Maurice Keyworth building, previously owned by Leeds Grammar School. LUBS have since constructed further modern buildings around the Maurice Keyworth, such as the Innovation Hub and Charles Thackrah Building.

2010 – The Edge opened

May 10, 2010

2010 – The Edge opened

The University’s swimming pool and fitness, sport and wellbeing complex, The Edge, opened in 2010 following a £12.2million investment into the construction and facilities.

2012 – Michael Marks Building constructed, housing the M&S company archive

March 16, 2012

2012 – Michael Marks Building constructed, housing the M&S company archive

The M&S company archive relocated to the University campus from London to the purpose-built facility. The collection, comprising over 70,000 items, enhances the University’s rich collection of cultural and artistic assets open to the public.

2015 – Laidlaw Library opened

May 27, 2015

2015 – Laidlaw Library opened

The need for a more modern study environment at the University saw the Laidlaw Library, a dedicated undergraduate space, open in 2015. Laidlaw boasts state of the art facilities and is built to offer students a contemporary option for their study. It was named after Irvine Laidlaw, who studied economics at Leeds in the early 1960s, and whose £9m gift for the project was the biggest ever received by the University.

2016 – Multi-storey car park constructed

January 4, 2016

2016 – Multi-storey car park constructed

As parking in the city-centre campus was limited, a multi-storey car park was constructed to improve the quality and safety of parking facilities at the University. The ten levelled, 690-space car park facilitates further development of the campus in line with the University’s Strategic Plan.

2017 – The Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit opened

April 28, 2017

2017 – The Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit opened

A £5m investment in Bodington Playing Fields saw a refurbishment of the sports pavilion and the creation of a 1.6km tarmac closed road cycle circuit. The Brownlee Centre and Bodington Cycle Circuit were officially opened by the Brownlee brothers in April 2017.

… and our campus keeps developing! With impressive new projects such as Nexus and the Sir William Henry Bragg Building, we continue to grow. Keep up-to-date with our current campus development projects here.

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New images of multi-million pound LUBS investment

Artist’s impressions have been released to show how the multi-million pound investment in Leeds University Business School (LUBS) will look when finished.

Phase one of the scheme – the refurbishment of teaching areas in Charles Thackrah building, with the addition of a new café – has been successfully completed.

The three-phase scheme commenced early this year and includes the construction of a new building in Mount Preston Street, adjacent to Bright Beginning Nursery. This will provide additional central teaching space, specifically four flat-floor teaching rooms, with a capacity for 100 people, and four teaching rooms, each providing capacity for 36 people.

This building, which forms phase two of the development, is expected to be completed in time for the start of the new academic year in October.

The final phase will be finished by the summer of 2020, following the construction of a new multi-storey teaching facility in Cloberry Street, shared by LUBS, the School of Law, the School of Languages and Central Teaching Space. Prominent features of the building, including a new Trading Room, teaching areas and Behavioural Laboratories, will provide more flexible and innovative ways of teaching.

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Sensory Garden at Charles Morris Hall

Storm Jameson Court is designed and accredited as ‘Access Exceptional’ by the Visit Britain National Accessible Scheme. However, whilst the site is home to student and conference wheelchair users, the grounds previously housed fairly simple shrub planting, with little opportunity for engagement.

In order to change this, we’ve set up a wheelchair accessible sensory garden focussing on use for people assessed on the autism spectrum (ASD). The planting scheme will have year-round interest and is based on advice received from Buglife’s Urban Buzz scheme in York, and the RHS Perfect for Pollinators Plant List.

The primary objective of the sensory garden is to improve access to the garden at Charles Morris Hall, thereby ensuring equal access and inclusiveness for all students, staff and visitors.

Additional objectives are to promote the well-being of students and visitors with ASD, with the planting scheme prioritised on known benefits. Also to increase biodiversity, by attracting invertebrates through the planting of species on the RHS Pollinator List. The year-round interest will assist invertebrates, especially the local Tawny Mining Bees located here on campus, and also the bees that live in hives on top of the Laidlaw Library.

Additionally, our estates team is working with the RNIB to highlight the planting of varying textures and to produce supporting guides, delivering tactile and large print versions of hand-held guides which detail what is there to enjoy!

Vibi Rothnie from RNIB charity said: “I finally took a walk to the garden with a partially-sighted friend who loved the stachys and was intrigued by the bee hotels – perfect reaction!”

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