The University of Liverpool is planning to invest £600m in its facilities.
The investment includes a £250m redevelopment of the university’s student accommodation. Part of this investment – a £44m 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 £350m is earmarked for investment in the academic estate at its city centre campus and at its Leahurst campus on the Wirral.
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 £300m 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.
It 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 historic 18th century Greenbank House which was left to the university by the Rathbone family, will also benefit from a £5m investment.
The teaching environment for science-based subjects is also being transformed with an investment of £25m 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.
Some £32m is set to be invested in teaching facilities in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, £7.5m in an extension to the Management School and £9m in a refurbishment of its Guild of Students. Other new developments include new student social space and a £4m investment in sports facilities.
The first phase of the university’s proposed £70m scientific research facility – which will ultimately accommodate more than 600 researchers in state-of-the art laboratories – will be completed in October 2011.