Bodington Football Hub group visit

Bodington Football Hub reaches milestone

Construction works have reached the halfway point at Bodington Football Hub, a major new facility at the University that will support grassroots sport in the city.

Representatives from the University, the Football Foundation and Sewell Construction gathered last week to mark the development’s four-team changing pavilion reaching its ‘topping out’ phase.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said:

“This is an important milestone in the creation of this key sports facility for the people of Leeds, including our students.

“We are grateful to our partners and excited that it is another step towards inspiring our community to become more active and involved in sport.”

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“This site at Bodington is a great example of investment from our partners, the Premier League, the FA, Government and Sport England, improving grassroots facilities across the country. This funding will enable more people to enjoy the benefits of playing regular sport.”

Community sport a core focus for new build

Made possible thanks to investment from the University and a £4.2m grant from the Premier League, the Football Association and the Football Foundation, the site will feature three full-size LED floodlit football turf pitches, a pavilion with community café, and extensive parking.

Chris Soper, Joint Managing Director for Sewell Construction added:

“It was great to see such progress on site, especially with the pavilion taking shape and the final pieces of structure being laid to the highest point.

“This facility is going to be such a welcome boost to both grassroots sport in Leeds, and the wider community, and I know I’m speaking on behalf of the whole team when we say we’re proud to be the ones bringing a sports development of this scale to fruition.

“Once complete, it will support community engagement and wellbeing, and we can’t wait for our partners and end-users to see it all come together over the next few months.”

Bodington Football Hub group visit

Left to right: Dave Major – Project Manager, Sewell Construction; Brian Ford – Head of Capital Development, University of Leeds; Will Wallace – Football Foundation; Ella Williams – LUUWAFC Captain & LUU Sports Rep; Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg – Outdoor Operations Manager, University of Leeds; Chris Soper – Joint Managing Director, Sewell Construction; Steve Grime – Head of Football, University of Leeds; Carl Hurdus – Site Manager, Sewell Construction

The Bodington Playing Fields site is located three miles north of the main University campus, and is also home to the Brownlee Centre – the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training centre – and Bodington Cycle circuit, one of the longest in the country.

Once completed later this year, the new site will be home to partner clubs from across the city.

Find out more about Bodington Football Hub.

Roger Stevens lecture theatre refurb

Designed to inspire: new teaching spaces open

An innovative new lecture theatre designed to inspire and encourage collaborative learning has opened for teaching.

Digital technology

The exciting new space, one of three now open at the iconic Roger Stevens Building, is equipped to make best practice use of digital technology – enriching the learning environment and enabling group activities and hybrid learning.

This is a key factor in both the University’s determination to build a fairer future for all  and to redefine the curriculum.

Roger Stevens refurb desks

Student feedback

We listened to feedback from students about recently updated teaching spaces elsewhere in Roger Stevens and in Mechanical Engineering.

Steve Gilley, Director of Estate & Facilities, University of Leeds said:

“We listened to feedback from students about recently updated teaching spaces elsewhere in Roger Stevens and in Mechanical Engineering.

“The new lecture theatres reflect what they have told us they need, from simple additions like coat hooks and more space for bags to the exciting technology that encourages collaborative learning.

“We look forward to hearing what academic colleagues and students think of these new areas.”

Roger Stevens refurb

A closer connection to nature

Like other spaces around the University, a green wall has been incorporated as a key part of the interior.

Research has found that biophillic design – the practice of creating a closer connection to nature through the ways building and landscapes are created and built – has a positive effect on wellbeing.

Flexible seating encourages collaboration between students with ‘review space’ so that teaching staff can move around easily, and each student desk has its own lighting, USB port, and laptop available.

Find out more about the University’s determination to build a fairer future for all. 

Camera filming grounds team at Sports Park Westwood

Grounds Week 2022

As Grounds Week 2022 kicks off, research by the the Grounds Management Association (GMA) shows that 77% of outdoor workers feel rewarded and a strong sense of achievement, compared to 47% of people working behind a desk.

Work-life balance

Katie Stott is an Apprentice Sports Turf Operative, at Sports Park Weetwood, part of the University of Leeds. She finds that her role has improved her work-life balance.

“I’ve always loved gardening and being outdoors. After my degree in Events Management at Leeds Met I wasn’t sure which path to take, but after volunteering as a gardener in Churwell, I realised that grounds and garden work was really rewarding.

“I find it great for my wellbeing too. When I get home at the end of the working day, I’m ready for my evening rather than feeling tired from being indoors at a desk all day.”

Katie is studying for a Level 2 in Sports Turf Operative alongside her work to help build her career.

Katie Stott

University Grounds and Gardens team

The University has an extensive and highly skilled Grounds and Gardens team who are responsible for the management and maintenance of the green estate.

This includes sports ground maintenance, managing the tree stock, maintaining campus landscaping, and much more.

Technology

Dave Thackray is a Groundsman in the team. He has seen many changes in the way that grounds are maintained.

“The job is very varied, and like many other professions, technology has made a huge difference.

“We now use a robot for line marking the pitches, for example. It can be programmed for whatever size and configuration you need, and left to do its job. We can then get on with other tasks.”

Grounds Week 2022

Grounds Week shines a light on the work of those in the profession who work with skill and dedication to produce quality surfaces for sports and recreational spaces all year round.

Sometimes labelled the ‘hidden profession’, the GMA is helping young people and those outside of the sector to understand what the involves, and how to get into the sector.

The GMA’s polling of 352 people who work indoors and 100 people who work outdoors, was carried out between January 2022 and February 2022, in partnership with Censuswide. The research seeks to understand how fulfilled people feel in their current career/role, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this.

A separate survey was carried out by the Grounds Management Association, between January 2022 and February 2022. During this period, 318 grounds staff and volunteers were polled.

Find out more about Grounds Week 2022.

Bodington Playing Fields

University of Leeds and Football Foundation celebrate start of works on new football facility

The University of Leeds and the Football Foundation have marked the start of building works on a new football facility, giving a welcome boost to grassroots sport in Leeds made possible thanks to investment from the University and a £4.2m grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

A new site, close to the University’s Bodington Playing Fields, will be developed into an impressive sports facility set to include three full size LED floodlit 3G Football Turf Pitches (FTPs), a four-team changing pavilion with community café, meeting space, and parking facilities.

Bodington Playing Fields is located just three miles north of the main University of Leeds campus and are also home to The Brownlee Centre, the UK’s first purpose-built triathlon training centre and new 1-mile (1.6km) Bodington cycle circuit, one of the longest in the country.

Once completed, the new site will be home to six partner clubs whose 142 teams will have access to fantastic facilities. The facility will also be a central venue for the Garforth Junior Football League and West Riding Girls League – eventually reaching 213 teams. As well as supporting the local community, the scheme will also be an important home to the University’s sports programmes, as well as supporting the Leeds United Foundation and West Riding County FA to deliver a broad range of recreational programmes and activities for the wider community.

Bodington Football Facility visit

Visit by the Football Foundation to the ongoing development of new football facility at Bodington Playing Fields.
Pictured, left to right. Steve Grime – UoL Head of Football, Will Wallace – Football Foundation, Ella Williams – LUUWAFC Captain & LUU Sports Rep, Robert Sullivan – CEO Football Foundation, Suzanne Glavin – UoL Head of Sport, Gawaine Mackenzie-Hogg – UoL Outdoor Operations Manager, Adrian Morris – Football Foundation.

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Leeds, said:

“The University is proud to be opening a new facility to support our students and the local community in north Leeds.

“As well as providing an important space for local football clubs in the region and our further investment in the student experience, we hope that it will inspire many more people to become active and we’re looking forward to working with our partners to develop new ways to support the community and create more ways for people to get involved in sport.”

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“It is great news for Leeds that the work at the University has started.

“This is the latest example of investment from our partners, the Premier League, The FA, Government and Sport England, improving grassroots facilities across the country. This funding will enable more people to enjoy the benefits of playing regular sport.”

Sewell Construction have been appointed to carry out the work, with completion expected in the summer of 2022.

Dave Major, Sewell Construction Project Manager added:

“We’re delighted to have been appointed as contractors for this exciting development at the University of Leeds.

“The investment that has been made into this scheme is evident in the dedication from all partners to create a community hub, with greater access to all within the local area.

“To be able to play our part in the City-wide contribution to sport at a local, regional, and national level, is something we’re extremely proud of.”

For more information about the project and to follow its progress visit the University’s campus development webpage.

 

Flowers on campus

Bloomin’ marvellous on campus

Many of us have not been on campus recently, so we wanted to bring the campus to you!

During the summer months, the campus reaches full bloom, and our budding photographers have been taking photos of the amazing displays our Grounds and Gardens team have been working on. Dig in!

 

Esther Simpson Exterior

Final stages of construction for Esther Simpson Building

Completion of the Esther Simpson Building remains on track for late August. Construction company BAM are working on the final stages of the building which will then be handed over to the University for final fit-out. Our teams will then work to fully equip the new building with facilities and technical resources so that it is ready for operations within just 6-8 weeks of it being handed over.

Here’s a sneak preview of how it’s looking!

Specialist teaching facilities

The new facility for LUBS and the School of Law will have a number of specialist teaching facilities, as well as standard teaching rooms, including:

  • Behaviour Labs divided into three areas:
    • a data collection lab
    • an observation room
    • and the boardroom
  • There are two, 24 seat, Trading Rooms that will allow students to practice trading in a safe environment and use real-time information
  • A 240-seat horseshoe-shaped lecture theatre with triple projection and a 390-seat traditional lecture theatre
  • Two, 100 seat flat floor seminar rooms
  • Eight, 36 seat flat floor seminar rooms

Teaching rooms will be a mix of collaborative and interactive styles. Some will have fixed furniture, and some will have flexible furniture allowing for different styles of teaching.

High specification PCs will allow for greater power and performance and will benefit Management Analytics’ teaching at LUBS and a computer cluster with 76 workspaces will be situated on the first floor of the building.

Fully accessible building

The Esther Simpson building is fully accessible, and the design of the building meets the criteria of the Equality Act 2010.

Special consideration has been given (but not limited) to the following:

  • Generous space centres
  • Fluid access for all, including wheelchair users
  • Suitable sanitary provision
  • Features to assist people with visual, hearing and cognitive difficulties find their way around the building easily and safely.

View the latest progress photos.

Bragg Exterior

Bragg transformed as doors nearly open

Over recent weeks, during the fit-out process, the Sir William Henry Bragg building has been transformed and for many of us, the suspense of waiting to see what’s inside will be over in just a matter of weeks! For now, the Schools of Computing, Robotics, the Bio-Nano Group and Student Support Services have been moving in.

Latest progress video and photos

See the latest gallery of images.

Town Hall event

Early in July, several online Town Hall sessions took place which provided more information about the Sir William Henry Bragg building. The event provided colleagues with an update on fit-out progress, showcased the scope for research collaborations and opportunities and gave information on a series of public events due to commence later this year.

Find out more by viewing the PowerPoint presentation, FAQs and watch the Town Hall event recording.

Sir William Henry Bragg Building project

Summer opening for Sir William Henry Bragg Building

There are just a few months to go now before doors open into the Sir William Henry Building.

Construction on the new development completed in April and fit out work is now underway. This is a major stage of the building and involves significant amounts of research equipment, existing and new, being installed, as well as Av set up across all research and teaching spaces.

David Oldroyd, Senior Estates Project Manager commented:

“We are only a few months away from full completion of the building and I know colleagues and students are looking forward to being in this new facility. The building has been designed in a manner to present numerous opportunities for collaborative research and teaching to take place – all of which will contribute to the University’s ambition be highly impact focused and make a positive difference in the world.

Over the next few months, our focus remains on the fit-out and liaising closely with the schools moving into the building to ensure the transition is as speedy and smooth as possible.”

The latest stage of fit-out can be seen in the video below:

For more detailed information about the fit-out stage visit our FAQ’s section.

 

new Esther Simpson building artwork

New artwork announced for the Esther Simpson Building

A new artwork sculpture titled “To leaf is to learn” has been commissioned and will be placed on the Esther Simpson Building in the coming months.

‘To leaf is to learn.’

These are the somewhat cryptic words emblazoned across an exciting new artwork poised to take centre stage in an equally impressive new gateway to campus when the Esther Simpson Building completes this summer.

Cryptic, that is, until an explanation from none other than the Poet Laureate himself shines light on their meaning.

It turns out our very own Professor of Poetry, Simon Armitage, is the creative mind behind the profound prose that will adorn the stunning sculpture.

Professor Armitage drew inspiration from the concept that the artwork represents notebook sheets – a common element in a student’s life.

He explained: “The words came in direct response to the artwork itself.

“The empty ‘pages’ seemed to invite text, and I tried to use the opportunity to encourage the act of reading and writing – both as an education and a pleasure – in terms of the excitement that comes from leafing through books and from making our marks on surfaces.

I think there’s also a message about growing up, the human mind ‘coming into leaf’, especially during those university years. And a subconscious message, too, about the environment – how our own growth and understanding is linked to the processes and systems of the natural world.”

International Collaboration

Fashioned out of giant metal sheets by world-renowned Spanish sculptor, Juanjo Novella, the artwork is both pensive and poetic.

Novella, known for his imposing public works of art in major cities dotted across the globe, was commissioned to create what will become a striking addition to an impressive new entrance on the western campus.

And the commission started an exciting international collaboration between Novella and Professor Armitage – one that will come to form a fascinating addition to our public art trail, while at the same time serving to inspire staff and students in their academic and professional pursuits.

Novella praised Professor Armitage for the way in which he approached the task with such creative vision.

He said: “It was just wonderful. Simon showed great generosity, which is what adorns great men, since he adapted to my needs. I’m very happy because Simon’s collaboration works on many levels. It was a real pleasure – one I wouldn’t mind repeating in the future.”

Installation of the artwork will take place this summer, with the process being supervised by Novella himself, who’s excited to visit Leeds and see his creation become a part of campus life.

He added: “I want this sculpture to be a living element that adds a sense of identity to the place. It is a silent and active sculpture at the same time. I have to say that this work made me incredibly excited because it is a sculpture that will be displayed in the UK – a country that I admire a lot. I’ve been greatly inspired by [British] sculptors like Anthony Caro, Antony Gormley, Richard Long, Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor and others.”

Innovative teaching centre

The sculpture will be located on the new Esther Simpson Building in Cloberry Street, which is due to open this autumn as part of the transformation programme for Leeds University Business School (LUBS) and the School of Law. Named after a former Leeds graduate, whose life-long vocation saw her help resettle scholars fleeing from totalitarian regimes across the world, the innovative teaching centre will provide world-class facilities that support participative learning and create an inspirational setting for staff and students – a fitting tribute to someone whose “tireless work reflects the values of the University”.

Professor Julia Bennell, Executive Dean of LUBS, said:

“This ambitious new building on the western campus will enhance our student experience; providing modern facilities and flexible teaching space. It’s important that we create an inspiring environment for staff, students and industry partners, and the artwork will be key to that experience.

On visiting the building, we hope the artwork speaks for the ambition and harmony the Business School aspires to with its surroundings, community and wider partnerships. We hope it will be a timeless inspiration for our students and staff, and will help welcome visitors to our innovative and inclusive space for education, research and collaboration.”

Another important aspect of the sculpture is the involvement of landscape architects and a lighting engineer to help create a true landmark – a physical link between the western campus and the central areas of the University.

It will become an extension of the Esther Simpson Building, visible from the building’s ground floor café and the teaching spaces above.

Professor Alastair Mullis, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “The School of Law is incredibly excited about the opening of the Esther Simpson building, which will provide a transformative teaching space close to our Liberty Building home on western campus and allow us to further develop our student experience.

We aim to create a campus environment that is truly inspirational and that meets the standards that we set as one of the top ranked law schools in the UK. In the years ahead, this artwork project will help welcome generations of students and academics to the school.”

Raising the curtain

Following a competitive selection process, Novella was chosen to design the sculpture because of his unique approach to engaging with urban landscapes.

It will certainly stand out – at 20 metres long and three metres high, the artwork will certainly impose itself on its surroundings.

And the sculpture will also serve another important purpose, minimising the aesthetic impact of a nearby electrical substation – acting as a ‘curtain’ to hide this ‘industrial’ feature.

Novella said: “It is a curtain – a wall created with leaves of paper torn from a notebook. Its sinuous shape creates curves that modulate light and stimulate the urban landscape. I like to imagine people around my sculptures – touching them, leaning on them, children playing. I want this work to be a living element that adds a sense of identity to the place where it’s located.”

Public art trail Novella’s sculpture is another important addition to our impressive range of public artwork, which is celebrated with a public art trail that guides visitors, staff and students around the collection. It will join other sculptures on campus, including Liliane Lijn’s Converse Column, Hubert Dalwood’s relief, Simon Fujiwara’s A Spire and Dual Form by British sculptor Barbara Hepworth. The latter of these is on loan from Leeds Art Gallery, together with Henry Moore’s Three Piece Reclining Figure No.2: Bridge Prop, which is currently housed outside the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery in the Parkinson Building.

Esther Simpson Exterior

Summer completion for Esther Simpson

The Esther Simpson Building is still on course to be completed this summer and the first phase of the landscaping and highways work associated with the project begins in April. The work will initially focus on a wheelchair friendly route from the rear of Leeds University Union up to Cromer Terrace. 

Work on site is progressing well with the contractor BAM. The building is now watertight and the electrical and mechanical services have completed their ‘first ‘fix’. 

Landscape works have also commenced around the south elevation and next to the FD building, and will progress around the east side of the building.  

Read more about the project, view photos and this months’ time lapse of the construction

Esther Simpson Lecture Theatre

A lecture theatre in the Esther Simpson building