University Of Leicester Announces £30 Million Medical Teaching Facility
New doctors being trained in Leicester will learn in the latest state-of-the-art facilities being proposed by the University of Leicester.
The £30 million Medical Teaching Building will house teaching rooms and computer laboratories in one of the most energy efficient buildings of its kind in the UK.
The development will allow the University to continue to enhance its excellent reputation for medical teaching. It will replace teaching undertaken by the University’s College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology in the current medical sciences building which was constructed in the mid 70s.
The University of Leicester has entered into an agreement with Regent College in order to develop the site on land currently owned by Regent College at the corner of University Road and Lancaster Road.
Regent College has agreed in principle to the sale of a section of land to the University of Leicester in order to directly fund the development of a high quality college sports hall, changing facilities and new classrooms, as well as to bring into use areas of the college estate that are currently unusable for sport. The plan includes the development of an improved levelled and drained sports pitch. These developments will significantly enhance the range of sports and teaching facilities on offer to young people in Leicester and will enable the college to extend its commitment to sport.
The University of Leicester intends to make a fully detailed planning application to Leicester City Council in May 2011. Subject to approval, the University will agree a purchase of the site from the College with view to developing the site by the 2013/14 academic year.
The proposed project will be funded from a variety of sources including use of loans, reserves and support from the NHS.
The University of Leicester has invested £50 million in the last three years alone in providing – amongst other things - a first-class redeveloped Library and Students’ Union. In April it also announced a £12.6 Cardiovascular Research Centre. The University also has plans to invest significantly in the estate in the next five years with an anticipated capital investment programme of over £200m.
Professor Stewart Petersen, Head of Medical and Social Care Education, said: “This fantastic new building will ensure that Leicester medical students learn in the best possible facilities, so they may be very well equipped to face the challenges of medicine in the 21st century.”
Grant Charman, Deputy Director of Estates at the University said: “The design of the building has been developed in close consultation with the Local Planning Authority and Regent College, to provide a scheme commensurate with their needs and the site parameters.
“Nearby roads and buildings including Regent College itself are laid out in a ‘grid’ arrangement and the proposed design of the Medical Teaching Building is sympathetic to this.
“In line with the University’s Sustainability Policy, the Medical Teaching Building will incorporate numerous environmentally friendly features including natural light and ventilation, external solar shades, photovoltaic solar panels, a combined heat and power (CHP) system and a free-cooling labyrinth which uses only a fraction of the energy of conventional air-conditioning. There will also be a planted wall and green roof on the side nearest Regent College. The ambitious plans aim to make this one of the most energy efficient buildings of its kind in the UK.”
Paul Wilson, Principal of Regent College, said: “The plans represent an exciting opportunity that will directly benefit learners at both the University and Regent College.
“Like many Colleges nationally, Regent College was denied the opportunity to progress a previously approved capital project that would have led to a similar major redevelopment of the college site in 2009. This stalled due to the suspension of the former Learning and Skills Council capital programme and restrictions in the public funding available for such schemes. Consequently the college has developed alternative strategies to deliver this important extension and improvement to the college estate.
“The plans for Regent College to work closely with the University of Leicester in this scheme will further improve the existing close relationship between the College and University, delivering fantastic new facilities for sport and new opportunities for further strengthening our already good academic links to the University Medical School.”
Dr Kevin Harris, medical director at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: ‘This can only be good news for us and our patients. The University of Leicester’s medical school is already one of the biggest and most prestigious in the country attracting a high calibre of medical students, who spend time with us when they train. We know that many students choose to stay in the city where they trained, which means Leicester’s Hospitals has a large pool of trained doctors to recruit from.”
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