On Thursday, 27 July 2023, we proudly hosted our inaugural Community Open Day at the future site of Castle Meadow Campus (CMC). More than 150 people from across the county gathered to learn more about the site’s vision, brought to life by our passionate colleagues at the heart of the programme.
From local schools and businesses to academics and industry, the entire community will benefit from this unique facility. The event welcomed an array of guests, including local councillors, business professionals, and members of the public. The agenda was thoughtfully curated to provide a comprehensive experience, which included:
Attendees delved into a variety of exhibitions, showcasing illustrations and plans of the modern facilities, resources, and endless opportunities that will grace the campus.
Participants had the chance to connect with key members of the Castle Meadow team, as well as representatives from local businesses and organisations. providing opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and foster new professional relationships.
Q&A session with CMC Team
Curiosity met expertise during the Q&A session, where attendees had a chance to pose their questions about the campus and its development. Our expert panel, including Margaret Monckton (CFO), Paul Greatrix (Registrar), and Jason Phoenix (Programme Director), provided insightful responses, expertly guided by David Park, Dean of Nottingham University Business School. Our guests even had the chance to hear from our CMC neighbours, Browne Jacobson as well as Councillor David Mellen and MP Ben Bradley.
Led by the passionate CMC team, a number of guided tours throughout the event allowed attendees to explore the site. Attendees were presented with an overview of the campus's resources that will be available to students and the local community once fully operational.
A home for Nottingham University Business School, Digital Nottingham, City as Lab and much more
Castle Meadow Campus is set to become the second site of Nottingham University Business School (NUBS), adding tot its existing presence at Jubilee Campus. Its central Nottingham location will help to forge new opportunities for teaching, research, and collaborative ventures with strategic partners.
Furthermore, the campus will house the Digital Nottingham initiative, harnessing digital and data knowledge and innovation to bolster the regional digital sector and tackle pressing challenges faced by the city and the region.
What are people saying about CMC?
Castle Meadow Campus will have its own buzzing identity, thanks to its city centre location, and will be a celebration of digital innovation and collaboration with local industry and community alike. We take our responsibility as custodian of this landmark site incredibly seriously and aim to deliver a bold vision for CMC, while still respective and honouring some of the city’s most iconic buildings.
Engaging with the community is something that’s always been at the heart of our strategy to transform and shape Castle Meadow Campus, which is why we wanted to get people on site as soon as possible while we’re still at the design phase. We have a wealth of knowledge available to us right here in Nottingham and we want to tap into that as we enter the next exciting phase of the development. Giving members of our community the opportunity to ask questions, challenge our ideas, as well as provide their own, is crucial to ensuring the success of CMC, so it was fantastic to see so many people taking an active interest in the site and joining us for this open day. We look forward to being able to widen our network further in the coming months.
Castle Meadow Campus is perfectly situated next to the city centre and will place future students in a prime location for forging crucial links with local businesses and communities. I’m incredibly excited to see how the university’s ambitious plans develop over the coming years.
Look out for more developments in the coming weeks and months on Castle Meadow Campus and find the latest news on our news and events page.
Answers to questions raised at our Open Day
1. Are there city campus hubs from elsewhere in the U.K./Europe/Globally that have been looked at for inspiration to achieve Castle Meadow ambitions?
We have looked at Sheffield, Birmingham, Brighton & Leicester with plans to visit other universities this year.
2. In terms of the refurbishment and regeneration of the campus, do you intend to use contractors from local business or are you focusing your search based on the cost to redevelop the site?
Our approach has been to utilise locally sourced contractors and employment. Regular reporting will take place on the proportion of local labour, under-represented groups and apprentices that are engaged on the project. Materials will also be sourced as locally as possible, so this supports the local economy and has the benefit of minimising emissions from the transportation of materials.
3. How will the university share more widely nationally and internationally the ambition, achievements and (hopefully!) the success of the redevelopment of the existing buildings and area?
We will share regular updates on the campus developments with our local, national and global communities through our wide-ranging communications channels:
- Social media channels
- News articles and press releases
- Student and staff newsletters
- Community newsletter (Sign up here)
- Campus visits and events
4. How does this campus equip the city, grow the city and upskill the city? Especially with economic contrasts of the Park and the Meadows on the door step.
When complete, Castle Meadow Campus will feature state-of-the-art facilities and will be a hub for collaboration for the whole community – from local schools and businesses to academics and industry.
The campus will provide an additional new base for Nottingham University Business School (NUBS), which will capitalise on the city centre location to develop new opportunities for teaching, research, and partnership activity, enabling it to grow its postgraduate offer and increase collaboration with strategic partners.
It will also be the home of the university’s Digital Nottingham project, which will harness digital and data knowledge and innovation to support a thriving regional digital sector and help solve challenges across the city and region.
The university envisages opening up the campus as a venue for events, installations, demos and digital showcasing – including immersive technology, AI and Robotics and digital 3D mapping tools. In addition, it hopes to be able to offer digital skills education for local professionals and young people as well as regional networking opportunities for small and medium sized businesses.
5. What role can the university play in helping the regeneration of the Broadmarsh area, five minutes from here?
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.
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 through enhancements such as the creation of collaborations spaces, enhanced biodiversity, links to the canal, meeting spaces, and external seating.
6. How has heritage and the recent listed status of the campus impacted on development plans if at all?
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.
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.
7. How will local communities be involved and will dedicated space be allocated to engage with communities and the public?
The university 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. We're also opening up a community forum in the Autumn.
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 local area.
8. How important is sustainability and carbon for the development at Castle Meadow?
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
9. How do we see the location playing a part in city centre business and for students?
Our campus location will dramatically increase the number of Nottingham-based businesses in close, physical proximity to the Business School (and it’s 300+ staff and 1,500+ postgraduate students). This will make it far easier for a variety of collaborative activities to take place between city centre businesses and our staff and students – to the potential benefit of all concerned.
10. It's great that the university plans to welcome the community to engage with Castle Meadow Campus. How do you however, intend to address the homelessness and drug issues in the city and how can you handle this issue in a sensitive manner?
While other agencies have statutory responsibilities for housing, crime and health and social care, we work in partnership with Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Police and offer support where appropriate and practical. We also partner with Emmanuel House, a local homelessness charity, to provide a winter shelter on University Park campus.
Additionally, the draft Student Living Strategy sets out how we will work closely with Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Trent University on shared challenges that impact residents in the city, in particular student residents.
Get in touch with the Castle Meadow Campus Team