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

LUU reception foyer

Leeds University Union upgrade underway

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

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

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

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

Laidlaw library

Laidlaw Library wins RIBA Award

The University of Leeds, Laidlaw Library has won a RIBA architecture award, in recognition of architectural excellence.

The Laidlaw Library was one of six outstanding winning buildings announced at the prestigious Yorkshire awards evening last night. Recognised for its striking and elegant exterior, the new library 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 Services, University of Leeds commented:

“We are delighted that the Laidlaw Library has won a prestigious RIBA award. 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 prestigious award signifies that we are also well on our way to an outstanding architectural campus.”

Find out more about the Laidlaw Library project

Read the Laidlaw Library winning entry on architecture.com


LUU news

Contractor appointed for Leeds University Union investment works

The University has appointed contractors Sir Robert McAlpine to deliver main refurbishment works, due to take place this summer at the University Union.  The work is due to commence on site over the coming weeks with completion expected in early Spring 2017.

We are working hard to ensure disruption to students and other users of the building is kept to a minimum. You can find regular updates about the work taking place, posted within the Union building, on Twitter at LeedsUniUnion and on the disruptions page of this website.

Director of Estates Steve Gilley commented:

“The University Union is the hub of the student life and this refurbishment aims to further improve our students experiences. The building will remain open whilst work is taking place – it’s critical for us to ensure we keep disruption to a minimum and limit the impact on student experience. We are therefore working intensely with LUU colleagues to ensure we deliver the best service to our students during this busy time.”


UIEC new

£40m University Innovation and Enterprise Centre – Consultation Underway

Staff, students and members of the public are invited to view the plans for the new University Innovation and Enterprise Centre (UIEC). The online pre-planning consultation runs until the 2nd May.

This high profile 10,000m2 facility will substantially raise the profile of the University’s research and innovation capabilities, whilst also creating new opportunities for innovation, productivity and growth within the Leeds City Region and beyond.  It will become home to technology start-up businesses as well as becoming a base for offsite corporate Research and Development and New Product Development teams.

For more details on the University Innovation and Enterprise Centre visit University Innovation and Enterprise Centre

Landscape strategy

Have your say on the University Campus Landscape

Students, staff and members of the local community are invited to take part in one of the ‘pop up’ workshops and have their say on future ideas for the campus landscape.

Student, staff and community participation and engagement is integral to developing a comprehensive landscape strategy.  We would like to draw on local knowledge, creativity and skills in order to develop a shared future vision, which will reflect our diverse University community helping us to be a positive partner in society.

The University Sustainability Service supported by Gillespies will be running a series of informal ‘pop up’ design workshops in busy campus areas to get feedback on the type of things that people would like to see in the future as part of the campus landscape.

Everyone is welcome to attend, if you have ideas or suggestions we encourage you to pop along and chat with the project team, information on the dates in which you can get involved are below:

  • ‘Pop up design workshop’. Facilities Directorate Community Event, Tuesday 19th April, 6-8pm Laidlaw Library
  • Pop up’ design workshop. University road (outside the Students Union) 21st April, 11 – 2:30pm.
  • Keep an eye out for our Sustainability Service architects and student volunteers who will be roaming around campus on 21st April from 11 – 2:30pm to get feedback and ideas from people who might not be able to make the two ‘pop up’ events.