Multi-million pound programme to enhance the student experience

The new food court at Portland Building
25 Oct 2011 11:01:12.183
PA 327/11

A multi-million pound programme of expansion and improvements is set to cement The University of Nottingham’s status as one of the most popular destinations among UK students.

A raft of new teaching and learning buildings, a £2.5 million revamp of café and food facilities and improvements to its halls of residences are designed to enhance the University experience for its 40,000 students and confirm Nottingham as an inspirational place to work and study.

Sustainability runs through the heart of the developments, reinforcing the University’s green credentials and supporting its commitment to environmental excellence.
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Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Infrastructure Professor Karen Cox said: “The University is committed to enhancing and sustaining its fantastic campuses and environment for the benefit of all our students staff and visitors and for future generations who will benefit from this on-going investment in our infrastructure and facilities.”

Among the new landmark developments and improvements are:

• A stunning new £7m Gateway Building at Sutton Bonington campus incorporating straw bale construction from straw grown on campus and used within timber framed units to provide low-carbon, highly-insulating cladding for the building. A gas-fired combined heat and power unit will provide more than 10 per cent of the power for the building. Make Architects have produced the video Story of Straw about the technology behind the development here.

• A £10m Engineering and Sciences Learning Centre (ESLC) on University Park offering a range of teaching rooms, a graduate centre and computer rooms over three floors. The contemporary horseshoe design includes low-carbon technologies, an atrium with an innovative roof made from ETFE (Ethylene TetrafluoroEthylene) — a transparent inflated membrane — and a feature lift.

• A £7m Mathematical Sciences undergraduate teaching and learning building on University Park. The environmentally-sustainable design features a ground source heat pump and a bio-diverse roof planted with local seeds. The build incorporates the new zinc-clad 400-seat Keighton Auditorium, which overhangs the local sandstone outcrop as part of its innovative design by the architects.

• An £8m Humanities building bringing together the departments of Archaeology, Art History, Classics, Philosophy and Theology. The building features ‘green’ heating and ventilation systems and includes a computer room and archaeology labs. The associated landscaping features a new external plaza and a Ha-Ha that enables nearby Lenton House to retain its uninterrupted views of the parkland campus.

• A home for the Centre for Advanced Studies and Graduate School housed in a £2.3m extension and refurbishment at Highfields House on University Park. The architects’ sympathetic design is in keeping with the grade II listed former mansion house and the University has received special listed building planning consent for the improvements, which include renewable technologies and a cloister around a central courtyard.

• A £1.5m investment into improving pedestrian, cycle and vehicle routes on University Park, including widening roads to include new cycle lanes, improved and new footpath and cycle routes across campus, lay-by bus stops with electronic bus information and a new road lay-out to form a pedestrian zone in the central campus area.

• Improvements to halls of residences including the installing of two large scale solar roof panels on Derby and Lincoln halls on University Park that will generate renewable electricity that will feed directly into the University’s grid-connected electricity distribution network and will save 60 tonnes of carbon every year.

• More than £0.5m refurbishment of the Lakeside Arts Centre that will provide expanded gallery space to accommodate larger and more diverse exhibitions — the first of which will be the prestigious exhibition of works by LS Lowry which will open in November 2011. The former Art History library has been refurbished and will be home to the University’s Museum, which features archaeological finds and artefacts dating back 250,000 years ago to the Palaeolithic period.

In addition, the University has invested £2.5 million into one of its biggest ever overhauls of catering facilities at many of its food outlets on University Park to create a truly international flavour for students and staff, while offering exceptional choice and quality. A new food court has been unveiled at Portland Building offering Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, African-Caribbean and Italian menus, as well as traditional options such as a salad bar and pasta and a Starbucks.

It includes Man’s Gourmet, the University’s first collaboration with local business Man’s Group, the owner of Mr Man’s on the edge of Wollaton Park and the city centre Man’s Restaurant and Item Seven, the brainchild of University of Nottingham Business School graduate and entrepreneur Olu Amodeni, which will offer a fusion of African and Caribbean foods to appeal to the University’s increasingly diverse international community.

Portland’s B floor has gained a New York style deli counter in addition to the existing café, serving kosher food options — establishing Nottingham as the only UK university currently offering on-campus kosher meals. The Café@Trent has been doubled in size, providing a stunning setting overlooking the boating lake and making the most of the Trent Building’s original Art Deco architecture with its scalloped mirrored kickplates and photographic wallpaper wall echoing the 1920s and 30s.

In addition, café facilities have been improved at Coates and Telford buildings on University Park campus, a new café has been created at Cavendish Hall of Residence and improvements have been made to the Sports Juice Bar at the Sports Centre.

— Ends —

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia. Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. For more details, visit:

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

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More information is available from Chris Jagger, Chief Estates and Facilities Officer on +44 (0)115 951 3610,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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