University of Nottingham set to invest in city centre campus

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

The University of Nottingham today confirmed that it has made an offer to purchase the Castle Meadow site in the centre of the city at the foot of the newly-restored Nottingham Castle.

The purchase would realise a longstanding ambition for the university to have a greater physical presence in the city centre. Potentially it could provide a campus for final year and postgraduate students studying professional practice-based courses, as well as a prominent home for its work to support jobs, investment and growth for the city.

A city centre campus could house start-up businesses and partnerships developed under the university’s Digital Nottingham programme, as well as the joint activity delivered through the Universities for Nottingham partnership with Nottingham Trent University. Providing a city centre base for this work would create significant opportunities to use the institution’s research expertise to support the growth of the city’s economy, and help realise the potential, skills and ambitions of people across the city.

This is a symbolic milestone in the story of both the city and the University of Nottingham and presents a hugely exciting opportunity. Opening an additional UK campus is an expression of confidence in the future of both the university and the city of Nottingham.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West

Professor West added: “Having a campus in the city, with transport links that offer a gateway beyond the region, will help enhance our civic agenda and enable us to deliver on our ambitions to support jobs, investment and growth across the city. It also offers greater opportunities for collaboration with local business, industry and SMEs, making it easier for partners to engage with us and develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

“For students in particular the site could enable greater and more convenient links with regional business and industry through placements, entrepreneurship, and collaboration to deliver a professional and practice-based curriculum, enhancing their graduate employment skills and opportunities to remain and work in the city.

“A civic and professional campus at Castle Meadow will accelerate the delivery of our strategic ambitions, demonstrating to the people of Nottingham just how far we are prepared to go to make a positive difference for the city, while offering the best of facilities for staff and current and future students.”

The driving purpose of Digital Nottingham is to be in the city and for the city. The Castle Meadow site provides a tremendous opportunity to connect with people, business, and organisations in the heart of Nottingham.
Professor Paul Grainge, Academic Director for Digital Nottingham

Professor Grainge added: "As a space to forge collaborations and build relationships around digital transformation, the central location will enable Digital Nottingham to take forward the University’s civic-focused ambition. It is the perfect location to realise its vision, helping to improve life, prosperity and prospects in the city. Castle Meadow provides a new geography for Nottingham as a University and as a place, and it will fast-track Digital Nottingham as an exciting and inclusive presence in the centre of the city.”

Originally designed by award-winning architect Sir Michael Hopkins, the site was put on the market for £36 million and covers an area of 32,500 square metres, including seven iconic office buildings, which would be renovated to the highest standards of environmental sustainability. The acquisition is likely to complete during the autumn and, subject to successful purchase, renovation of the site would commence in 2022.

Liz Cass - Head of News
Phone: 0115 748 4734

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Notes to editors:

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 103rd out of more than 1,000 institutions globally and 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 Sports University of the Year. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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