Where is the Castle Meadow site?
Formerly occupied by HMRC, Castle Meadow is on the south side of the city centre, close to the train station, the iconic Nottingham Castle, and a short walk from Lenton. The site was originally designed by award-winning architect Sir Michael Hopkins.
It extends to 3.75 hectares, housing accommodation of approximately 32,500m square comprised of seven buildings.
How will the development of the site be managed?
This is a substantial programme of activity and will be overseen by a group chaired by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Norman. This group will ensure that Castle Meadow enables us to better deliver on the aims and objectives of our University strategy.
There is a programme of engagement and consultation with staff and students that will be taking place throughout the duration of the programme
Will the development be sustainable?
The University Strategy places a special emphasis on environmental sustainability and supporting the city’s ambitions to be net zero carbon by 2028. Making use of existing buildings rather than creating new buildings is a significantly more sustainable solution to support the university’s expansion plans.
The Castle Meadow development was ahead of its time when it was constructed in the early 1990s as it integrated a wide range of sustainable measures that were innovative for the period. Reusing these buildings, even after adaptation, means that the CO2 expended will be a fraction of that from a new build and significantly below the targets now set by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Castle Meadow site itself is an attractive green space, with easy access to the train station and the cycle paths of the Nottingham Canal, offering sustainable, accessible and safe transport routes for staff, students and visitors.
What does practice-based students being based at CMC mean?
We have a broad definition of 'practice-based'. We are thinking about how the location of teaching at CMC can support students who need to interact with business/cultural organisations in the city centre, or to practice their learning through use of facilities that we might build for this purpose at CMC.
How do we balance being open to the public but not attracting safety and security issues?
Safety and security are very important to us. We will be looking to get the right balance of safety and security in place for the Castle Meadow campus whilst remembering we want the campus to feel open and welcoming too. All of this will be considered as we develop the design of the site.
Teaching is likely to be more on-line (off-site). Will large lecture theatres, staff offices and student accommodation be as important as previously?
The market for our education is overwhelmingly still for campus-based courses, although we are also developing new distance-learning courses. We want CMC to enable high-quality 'blended learning'; excellent in-person teaching and learning that is supported by digital technology. Whether we need lecture theatres will depend upon the activities we decide to offer at CMC, and the pedagogy required. We will look at all the data we have to understand how our current lecture theatres are used before we make any decisions about building new ones. With regards to staff offices, decisions about these will also follow on from the discussions about the activities we house at CMC and our understanding of the facilities staff require to work effectively.
Will there be student accommodation on this campus?
At this stage, we are not considering putting student accommodation on campus. There have been discussions on whether we may need to provide accommodation for CPD/Professional students that might join us for short courses, but we have not been considering student accommodation more generally because there are lots of developments in that part of the city for students already and we believe that there may be better uses for these buildings.
Can we run a “use case scenario” workshop to look at visitor journeys so all user scenarios have been considered before plans are made to occupy spaces?
Absolutely. It is essential we endorse the principle of user and visitor journeys as part of site planning. We are currently in the process of developing personas and clear narratives about usage so this principle is already embraced in our approach.
Finance and investment
Does investment in Castle Meadow mean that other estates maintenance and capital project works get de-prioritised?
No, the university has spent £40m in the past three years on essential building maintenance and the team and budget for carrying on this work for the next five years is ring fenced. A new project team for Castle Meadow will be put in place so that existing teams and projects can continue.
What does this mean for the ‘levelling up’ of other campuses such as Sutton Bonington?
The process of planning the detail of the Estates Development Framework will be elongated by a few months to take account of Castle Meadow and ensure that it can be accommodated without affecting other projects. These projects will include improvements to our existing campuses such as Sutton Bonington.
Will there be investment in Castle Meadow to make it fit for the purposes we may have as a university?
The infrastructure of the buildings at Castle Meadow are very good. The spaces within the buildings are very flexible, which will enable us to purpose them in whichever way we need to meet the needs of teaching, research and student and staff experience.
The site has now been listed, Grade 2 status by Historic England and although this will have limited impact on the layouts and designs timescales are currently be looked into to ensure all required approvals are progressed.
What other opportunities are there for the new campus to generate income?
We have already had interest from some external companies about being housed on this campus, as well as current occupants Browne Jacobson LLP, which would generate significant annual rental income and open up exciting new opportunities in both teaching and research.
However, though commercial opportunities will be explored where appropriate, the primary development of the campus will be around improving teaching and learning, research opportunities, working environments and the student experience.
Who are our partners in Nottingham? Would their placement offering match all discipline areas at Nottingham or, would CMC support mainly Business and FinTech?
We work with many partners in Nottingham across all business sectors. We are currently developing the business and innovation plan for CMC. It is likely we will have a mix of business and enterprise on the site from start-ups to established companies that want to work closely with UoN. We will be working across a number of industry sectors, such as digital and fintech to maximise synergy across all the occupants at CMC.
Travel and transport
How much parking will there be, and how will it be allocated? Whilst in the city centre, public transport won't be suitable for all.
We do see the opportunity to integrate this with the transport systems that lots of people have already provided some great ideas for. But that’s not to suggest that there will be no parking. We would like to make it easier for people to use other mechanisms of transport to move around the campuses. A full transport plan will be developed and submitted as part of the statutory planning application.
Will council be part of discussions around transport connectivity to campus for current car users? Local park and ride facilities are already oversubscribed.
Connectivity and transport are a key part of the campus and a 'Mobility vision' is being progressed and developed with the sustainability team to ensure the campus meets all the requirements the strategy has set out. The city location will have an impact on this strategy however, the vision will have a balance of parking, public transport, cycling and pedestrian options throughout.
Will the Hopper Bus be expanded to link to the City Centre campus?
Connectivity and transport links are a key part of the work the Physical and Digital Workstream are covering. We will be fully considering access on foot, cycle, e-bike, bus, tram and train as well as car parking. This will be part of the transport plan submission for the City Council statutory planning process which is likely to be later this year (2022). We’ll be considering the specific issues of the wider hopper bus service. It is important that we have sustainable transport links for all visitors and that we ensure there are easy links between campuses.
Plans and opportunities for the new campus
Could we move Manuscripts and Special Collections library over there? It would make it more publicly accessible and would be close to Inspire Libraries Archive.
This is something that is under consideration. It is not something that we can confirm at this stage, but it is a great idea and a great location to make those facilities more accessible. The needs of the Manuscripts and Special Collections library is being considered as part of the wider campus planning process too.
Are there any plans for the vacated space on Jubilee and potentially King’s Meadow? Do we have too much real estate as a university?
For Kings Meadow, the plans are dependent on solutions for relocating a number of important functions – storage, logistics, mailroom and data centre. All of this is being considered in the campus planning process. We are committed to bringing staff based at KMC to Jubilee Campus and University Park.
What is the plan for the Business School buildings on Jubilee? Is NUBS moving completely?
The campus planning process is considering a whole range of scenarios. If buildings are vacated, they will be repurposed – this may include refurbishment and allocated for different purposes. Recommendations will be made to the Estates and Infrastructure Committee for consideration later this year.
There was mention of partners being located at the site. Are these just commercial entities or could we create a space for NGOs and CBOs?
Absolutely, we could. It’s a very interesting idea that we would be keen to explore. The levelling up agenda is a hot topic; this new development can help contribute towards this and we see it as a big opportunity for us. Working with partners in the city generally to address that agenda but there are specific funding streams that are available, and that the government are emphasising, importantly, the need to invest outside of the Southeast. So, we see the opportunity to secure some investment to help us to realise our plans.
Since there are solicitors on site, and Castle Meadow is close to the law courts, will the School of Law have a presence on the campus?
We are looking at all opportunities for schools on the campus and whilst not every school can be accommodated there will be space that can be used by anyone from the University. Whilst the final decision on who is relocating to Castle Meadow is still to be made, it is possible several different Schools, including the Law School, could provide some activities from the Campus.
Are better/larger library facilities planned? The current Business School library is small and does not provide group study rooms or informal spaces.
This a matter to be considered as part of the spatial planning for the campus and how best to provide this service.
The levelling up agenda is a hot topic politically at the moment - can this new development contribute to it?
Castle Meadow could be used to deliver the following activity, all of which would contribute to the government’s levelling up agenda:
- The provision of workspace and support for new and growing businesses within knowledge-intensive industries (e.g. fintech), helping to develop a high-value local economy.
- The up-skilling and re-skilling of local people, enabling them to access more highly paid employment opportunities
- Community engagement activity, helping to restore a sense of local pride and belonging.
In addition to this, the Castle Meadow can also contribute to the 12 Levelling Up Missions set out within the recent White Paper. The Castle Meadow programme will be working closely with our faculties and professional service departments to ensure our new development supports the levelling up agenda where possible.
Will there be a Students’ Union presence for activities?
Discussions are taking place with the Students’ Union as to how best deliver a range of services to students at the new campus.
Can we push to have counselling space expanded, and a wellbeing collaboration on this site?
This is a key activity that is available on all campuses and we would wish to ensure access is available at Castle Meadow.
Will all 'central services' have a presence - welfare, student services, counselling, sport/fitness, careers, CELE, libraries, visa and immigration?
There is a real opportunity here to think more about how these teams work together and how we use technology to link our campuses too. Students should be able to access our services across all our campuses but that doesn’t mean each service will be identical in each location.
Can we brand our inclusive values through wall art, signage and foreground well-being and support services? It could help square physical security and inclusivity.
This is a good idea and this will be looked into as part of the development of the landscaping as well as internal spaces within the various buildings.
- Are students involved in the design of the Castle Meadow Campus?
Postgraduate, Student Engagement Associates and students from the Department of Architecture and Built Environment are members of the Castle Meadow Campus Design Recommendations Group. The group has approximately 40 members that includes UoN Staff Network representatives, academic and professional services colleagues, and is Chaired by the Director of Student and Campus Life.
Listed Building Status
How will the listed building status impact the development plans for CMC?
The local authority conservation team are generally content with our plans and we will work with them to ensure we can align our thinking. We have recently met with Historic England as well to ensure they are aligned with our plans. Listing will influence administration of any proposed changes – it’s likely to add some time and additional information to be provided.
What measures are being taken to preserve and enhance the historical significance of the listed building during the development process?
The University recognises the importance of the design of the Castle Meadow Campus and we want to do it justice by enhancing the features in the Hopkins and Arup design. A detailed design guide has been collated by the original architect and engineering team, to ascertain what works we can do and cannot do. We are also progressing a Heritage Impact Assessment to detail the significant areas of interest.
Are there any restrictions on what can be done with the listed building?
Yes, we are still working on the details with the local authority and Historic England to know the exact details of things we can and cannot do.
Canal and Surrounding Areas Development
How will the development of CMC impact the surrounding areas, especially the canal and nearby spaces?
We believe there will be a positive impact on the canal and surrounding areas. We’re already working closely with the Canal and Rivers Trust and the local authority to enhance the area and build and support the excellent work underway along that important corridor We will work with the City to enhance the pedestrian and cycle routes that serve the campus – particularly on key routes that link to Broadmarsh, Castle Boulevard, the Meadows and the rail station/tram.
What opportunities are being explored to enhance the environment and amenities around the campus?
Our other campuses are well known for their excellent external spaces, and we want CMC to be considered in the same way. Whilst the campus will have a defined footprint, we want to open it up and blur the edges with the surrounding area – particularly the canal. On the campus, the development of the landscaping will be a fundamental part of the campus experience and will provide outdoor space that encourages its use for teaching, study or decompressing and relaxing away from studies. It will provide an excellent external environment for business meetings through enhancements such as the creation of collaborations spaces, enhanced biodiversity, links to the canal, meeting spaces, external seating linked to bistro/café.
What are the likely environmental impacts of the building work and how is sustainability being prioritised?
The site when constructed some 25 years ago was an exemplar of Sustainability at its time and we will be building on it. Having the opportunity to repurpose an existing building rather than building new gives us an opportunity to reduce the embodied carbon of the development. Sustainability is an integral part of the site’s operating model and is a key principle in our approach to design, construction, and eventual operation of the campus.
Recognising the broad nature of sustainability and our desire to take environment further than just the built environment we have in developed an output focused Sustainable Development framework, with the priority outputs being:
- Promote reuse of resources, enabling climate friendly design
- Improve and safeguard mental health and well being
- Connect, build and create opportunities for the local community
- Promote safe transport and safe public thoroughfare
- Establish an environment for quality education
- Promote the University’s commitment to greening and biodiversity
- Be inviting, accessible and safe for all at all times
These outcomes have been used to develop a framework. To ease communication the framework that deliver’s the outcomes has been split into 9 focus areas – with these focus areas influenced by the above outcomes. For further details please visit the Sustainability stand at the open day.
What efforts are being made to engage and involve the local community in the development of CMC?
The University has published, printed, and posted an information guide with invitation to the open day to the 1,100 homes and business most closely located tto the South of the campus in the meadows area. This is in addition to 9,000+ residents in other parts of the city.
Through our existing Public Engagement and Community Engagement Teams there will be an ongoing effort to connect with local people, communities, and businesses to ensure the Campus has a positive impact in the locality.
Parking, Hopper Bus, and Transport Links
What provisions are being made for parking at CMC?
As we bring the campus to life, we are looking to significantly change the external environment by changing it from a car centric environment to a pedestrian friendly campus, with any parking pushed away from the core boulevard of the site. The mobility vision for the campus
Castle Meadow Campus, through its design and function, will prioritise sustainable and climate conscious travel choices by providing a safe and welcoming environment for pedestrians and cyclists, which connects into Nottingham’s comprehensive public transport and active travel network. The inclusivity ambition for the campus means some essential car access will be retained, although car parking provision will be reduced to facilitate a pedestrian friendly environment which all users will benefit from.
This moves us away from the use of car and that will be reflected in the fact that there will be very few car parking spaces, and users and visitors to the campus will be encouraged to use public and active travel (of which there are many options) to visit the site. Parking will be available for those with greatest need and accessible provision will be required.
Will there be a hopper bus service or other transportation options available for students and visitors?
Connectivity between Castle Meadow, Jubilee and University Park campuses is going to be important. The campus is well served by the tram network with stops at Meadows Way West and Nottingham Station and bus services within a short walk. We’re considering options around public transport, including the Hopper service and we see the City wide e-mobility schemes as an integral part of this, just as they are on our other campuses
How is the campus accessible by public transportation, and what steps are being taken to promote sustainable commuting options?
Of all the campuses the University operates, CMC benefits from the most comprehensive transport infrastructure. Located on the southern side of Nottingham City Centre, CMC is a 5minute walk from Nottingham’s Main Line Rail Station. The station is also served by the NET tram network, which offers direct tram services to the QMC and University Park, and trams northwards to Phoenix Park, Bulwell and Hucknall, and trams southwards to Wilford and Clifton.
The closest bus stop to the site is on Castle Boulevard, a 300m walk from CMC, this stop is served by Skylink Nottingham which runs between the City Centre and East Midlands Airport via University Boulevard and Beeston.
The Broad Marsh Area / Southside of Nottingham is undergoing dramatic transformation, with pedestrians and cyclists at the heart of NCC’s vision for the area, aligning with Nottingham’s ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2028.
Within a 5minute walk of CMC there are several public car parks including the NCP Maid Marion Way (412 spaces), Broad Marsh Car Park (1,304 spaces) and Nottingham Railway Station Car Park (512 spaces).
Builder Going Into Administration
How will the recent news about the building contractor going into administration impact the development timeline for CMC?
J Tomlinson going into administration was a very sad and the University sympathises with them, but the University’s consultant team are already progressing a plan B to ensure the impact is limited. There will be a minor delay to the programme and the completion of the first building, details of this will be developed over the coming weeks.
How will this development affect the overall vision for CMC?
This will not affect the vision of CMC.
Why is student housing not being provided at CMC to address the housing crisis?
The new campus is not anticipated to motivate an increase in housing need, however, the City Centre is well served by the provision of existing and planned purpose-built student accommodation. The University has established working relationships with those providers.
What alternative housing options are being considered to support students' accommodation needs at CMC?
The Student Living Strategy project which is a partnership between Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham City Council ensures that current and future student accommodation is carefully considered to meet the city's requirements.
The CMC is well located to be served by the existing and developing students accommodation in the immediate local vicinity. Furthermore, the excellent transportation links via tram and bus allows students, staff and visitors to commute to the campus via public transport.
Community Concerns - Construction Work
How will the construction work at CMC be managed to minimise disruption to the local community?
Contractors on site will all align with the Considerate Constructors scheme and will have a liaison lead who will be responsible for linking to the local community and tenants about any concerns.
What measures will be taken to address concerns about noise and construction-related inconveniences?
Construction works are primarily internal within the buildings, so noise will be minimal. Works will be undertaken during normal working hours and any out of hours working will be notified to the local community.
Loud Students and Working Hours
How will the campus ensure a positive and harmonious relationship with the local community in terms of noise and working hours?