LUU reception foyer

Leeds University Union upgrade underway

Last updated on 10 September 2019

Main works to transform the Union Building are now underway

Aidan Grills, Chief Executive of Leeds University Union talks more about the project.

The deal has been done, the plans finalised, the asbestos stripped out and Sir Robert McAlpines’ builders can finally start on site as the main contractor for the Union Upgrade. As Celebrate Week was in full swing at the end of April 2016, final arrangements were being made to the phasing of activity which should see the Union Upgrade project delivered by the end of next April 2017. This is much sooner than expected and part of the proposal submitted by SRM which showed they understand how important it is to our work to consider the year around student activity we need to maintain.

Interior design work has been developed, with significant attention going towards maintaining the key aspects of the Old Bar we all want to retain whilst we upgrade the furniture, kitchen and behind the bar areas.

One of the most exciting aspects to show people is the new Raven Theatre which will really feel like a brand new asset to our venues. Every time I get to tour people through the area through Mine, even those who think they know LUU well, are excited about the potential this offers.

Current Activity Programme

An overview of the key activity expected over the next few months is outlined below:

  • May 2016: SRM starts on site in phased approach to programme of work covering Old Bar, the Riley Smith Hall and Pulse.
  • June 2016: Work begins around the Foyer, Stylus corridor and Mine.
  • August 2016: Work begins on the Raven Theatre, Central Atrium, Common Room, Market Square and further works to the Foyer. Works to Pulse and the new Terrace kitchen will also be completed at this time.
  • September 2016: Completion of Old Bar, Riley Smith Hall, Mine, Terrace Kitchen and first phase of the Foyer.
  • December 2016: Completion of Central Atrium, Common Room, Market Square, further works to the foyer and the Raven Theatre.
  • January – April 2017: Work will be completed around the North Entrance, backlog maintenance and new Studio spaces.

Thank you to so many students and staff who have supported us to get this far along the way to refurbishing our building. The Union Upgrade is well and truly under way and we will see the results in new activity in the next academic year!

Find out more about the Leeds University Union project.

Laidlaw 1 year anniversary

One year anniversary of the Laidlaw Library

Last updated on 10 September 2019

Since its opening in May 2015, the Laidlaw, described as the jewel of campus by regional media, has received an overwhelming take up by staff and students. Its outstanding architectural excellence also received due recognition when it won a RIBA Yorkshire Award 2016 and a highly commended award in the Design and Innovation category at The RICS Y&H Awards earlier this month.

The building was named after Irvine Laidlaw, who studied economics at Leeds in the 1960’s, and whose £9m gift for the project is the biggest ever received by the University.

Laidlaw library infographic

Find out more about the Laidlaw Library project



Laidlaw Library highly commended for design and innovation

Last updated on 10 September 2019

The Laidlaw Library has been highly commended for its design and innovation in the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Yorkshire and Humber Awards.

The prestigious event took place in Harrogate, where Yorkshire and Humber’s most inspiring and community beneficial schemes battled it out for the top honours.

The Laidlaw Library, which highly impressed the judges, was a worthy runner up to the University of Sheffield’s Diamond Building – crowned the winner of the Design through Innovation Category.

Steve Gilley, director of estates at the University of Leeds commented:

“On behalf of the University of Leeds, it’s an immense pleasure to accept this award from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. The Laidlaw Library is an iconic building for many reasons, it’s elegantly designed, it is a low energy building that is highly sustainable, it fits within the historic campus surroundings, but most importantly it has proved to be a very popular 21st century learning space for our students.”

ADP director, Joe Morgan, commented:

“The Laidlaw library is the result of a holistic design approach that has created an energy efficient building that successfully responds to its context and the wellbeing of the end user.”

Find out more about the Laidlaw Library project

Worsley dental theatre

£41m investment in Worsley is taking shape

Last updated on 10 September 2019

With just seven months left to complete the refurbishment of key areas within the School of Medicine and Dentistry, colleagues and students are beginning to see the transformation take shape.

The first section of Phase 2 works, on Level 9, is now complete and occupied by the Faculty Office. The work plan remains on schedule and a substantial amount of the building, including a new café, is due to be handed back to the Faculty next month.

Work has also commenced on an innovative, sector leading redesign of the Dental Lecture Theatre, which will be complete this autumn. It will transform the current facility into a mix of collaborative teaching and learning space and will include industry bests in furniture, equipment and technology

The £41m investment will transform the Worsley Building into a vibrant and inspirational environment for staff, students and visitors that promotes the delivery of outstanding research and enhances the national and international profile of the Leeds’ Medical and Dental Schools.

The investment will support the development of the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, incorporating two research council funded Centres (MRC & ESCR), and will establish Leeds as a nationally leading Centre in data intensive research.  Upgraded facilities will also accommodate the Leeds Institute of Clinical Trials and Leeds Institute of Health Sciences.

A new café will provide additional eating, meeting and social space for staff and visitors.  Along with a dynamic new reception that will enhance the external profile of the building and promote the excellent research and teaching provided across the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

Find out more about the Worsley Building Project

Find out more about the Lecture Theatre Redesign Project