Nexus

New centre set to accelerate business growth and innovation

The University of Leeds has unveiled its plans for its £38m innovation and enterprise centre.

Offering a gateway to help businesses access the University’s world-class research, the centre is part of the University’s £520m investment in its campus, aimed at positioning Leeds as one of the UK’s top higher education institutions.

Dr Ceri Williams, Director of Research and Innovation Development at the University of Leeds, said:

“This centre is designed to help new and established businesses harness the University’s capabilities in a more structured, efficient and inventive way.

“Universities offer a huge range of support, whether that’s new knowledge and expertise, access to our talented students and graduates, or executive development to help businesses innovate, grow or be more productive.

“But developing new opportunities can be difficult, because of the sheer size and complexity of higher education institutions. This centre aims to provide a new way of collaborating, to provide businesses with seamless access to the right expertise, skills or facilities, in an exceptional place”.

The centre will offer a vibrant community for tenants, providing high quality office and lab space for technology-led companies, corporate R&D and new product development teams, and will offer a range of spaces for networking, including meeting rooms, a cafe and a business lounge.

The University of Leeds has a strong track record in supporting the growth of new and established businesses, having created more than 100 spin-outs.

Seven of these spin-out companies are market listed on AIM, which is more than any other university in the UK.

The centre also aims to play a key role in supporting the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) mission to unlock the region’s economic potential, by encouraging enterprise and supporting businesses to grow and remain in the area.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP, added:

“I’m delighted that the University has put forward its ambition for a multi-million pound investment in this purpose-designed facility.

“Local businesses and entrepreneurs will have a place where they can engage and benefit from the knowledge and capabilities of the University, enabling the development of next generation technologies and products. I believe it has real potential to contribute to regional growth and prosperity.”

The new facility – projected to open in 2018 – is one of several developments underway at the University, with infrastructure investment ranging from £90k – £90m.

A recent report revealed that the University is currently making a £1.3bn contribution to the UK economy, with its overarching £520m investment aimed at creating a world-class campus to support its ambitious plans to drive cutting-edge research and excellent student education.

View the new image gallery below (click to expand)

Find out more about the University Innovation and Enterprise Centre.

Laidlaw library

Laidlaw Library receives national RIBA award

The University of Leeds, Laidlaw Library has won RIBA architecture awards, in recognition of architectural excellence both at a national and regional level.

The Laidlaw Library, recognised for its striking and elegant exterior has become a popular destination for University students. The contemporary design sits elegantly alongside the historic campus backdrop, whilst providing excellent connectivity between campus and the City Centre.

Steve Gilley, Head of Estate, University of Leeds commented:

“We are delighted that the Laidlaw Library has won prestigious RIBA awards regionally and nationally. We aspired for an iconic, contemporary design, a building that would complement the campus whilst providing an inspirational learning environment for our students. Its striking exterior draws people into the building and as a result has proved to be an incredibly popular building with our staff and students.

The University of Leeds is currently investing £520m to create a world class campus – this respected award signifies that we are also well on our way to an outstanding architectural campus.”

Lord Laidlaw, whose £9m gift for the building is the biggest ever received by the University, said:

“As soon as I saw the architects’ plans for the Laidlaw Library, I was impressed by the design – and I am even more delighted to see how it has taken shape. I am proud to have been able to support the creation of such an attractive building which, most importantly, provides such a wonderful environment for student work and study.”

Read our winning entry for the Laidlaw Library.

Find out more about the Laidlaw Library project

Powering up for a sustainable future

Generating Station Complex

Work is now underway to upgrade the Generating Station Complex which serves the University and the Leeds General Infirmary.

Over the next two years an investment of £27m will be made at the site located on Clarendon Road, adjacent to the Light, resulting in upgraded facilities with increased capabilities to meet the projected future energy demands of the University and Hospital.

The University currently obtains a high percentage of its energy from the Generating Station Complex, which provides the university campus with 75% of its energy in the form of low temperature hot water, steam, chilled water and electricity.

More information on the Generating Station Complex

Facilities directorate building

Facilities Directorate building opens

The new Facilities Directorate Building is officially complete and brings together a host of services that form the Facilities Directorate.

Colleagues from a number of different services have moved into the new office space, based opposite Bright Beginnings Nursery on Cloberry Street. Key services are continuing as normal and the following University teams are now located in the new building:

  • Estate Services – Capital Projects / Engineering and Energy / Operations / Planned Works / Design
  • Facilities Directorate Support & Helpdesk
  • Estate Planning and Information
  • Sustainability
  • FD Marketing and Communications
  • FD Finance, Performance and Business Development
  • Commercial Services
  • Residential Services
  • FD Health & Safety
  • FD Human Resources and People Development

Later in the year the former Estates building will be demolished as part of the wider plans to create the new North East Quarter.

Find out more about the North East Quarter