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.

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.

Photo of electric refuse collection vehicle and the waste management team of six people pictured outside the Ziff Buildong at University of Leeds

New electric vehicle for waste collection

One of the first electric refuse collection vehicles to be used in Yorkshire has started work on the University of Leeds’ campus.

The University’s Waste and Environment team led by Courtney McAuley (pictured third from right above) started using the vehicle this year, working with supplier Associated Waste Management (AWM.)

AWM’s vehicle enables zero carbon emission waste collections and is charged using a renewable energy source.

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

“Moving towards Net Zero carbon emissions is central to the University of Leeds’ recently-published Climate Plan, and we are making very significant investments to realise this by 2030.

“Among many different commitments, the Facilities team has invested in electric vehicles to replace other forms of transport in use around the campus for essential maintenance, and we are very pleased that AWM are making similar adjustments.”

Around half of the vehicles in use by teams at the University including including Security and Grounds and Gardens have recently been upgraded: last summer five diesel vehicles were replaced with three zero emission electric vehicles.

This change will deliver a significant reduction in fleet emissions and the aim is to remove more diesel vehicles from the fleet over the next 12 months.

Read the University of Leeds Climate Plan.

 

Working in library

Lost property goes digital

The Security team at the University has introduced a new online system to help reunite campus users with their lost possessions.

Using hubs around the campus, the system logs found items and stores them locally. It searches for property and keeps users notified of progress by email.

Replacing a system that was based solely in the Security team’s office, hubs are being introduced around the campus, and are currently in use at the Print Copy Bureau at the Roger Stevens Building, Laidlaw Library, Brotherton Library, and Edward Boyle Library.

Steve Sloan, Change Manager for Campus Support Services at the University of Leeds said:

“We all know how inconvenient and even upsetting it can be to lose property. We hope that the new system – supplied by Notlost.com – will speed up the process and provide reassurance to those who use our campus.”

The more hubs for lost property there are around the University, the more effective the system, and Security are recruiting new locations for hubs. Support is provided by the Security team.

Log an item of lost property and find out more information.

For enquiries about the new system, please contact security@leeds.ac.uk.

Brotherton library corridor

Build complete for new Special Collections Research Centre

The building of innovative new study areas to complement the Special Collections Research Centre in the Brotherton Library has completed.

The new Brotherton Research Centre and John Bedford Room will now be furnished and ready to use in late February, with state-of-the art audio-visual equipment being added by June.

The Centre has been designed as a comfortable space to take a break from intensive study and enjoy displays of highlights from the collections. It will be a hub for collaborative work, with interactive group space designed for users to congregate and discuss collection items.

Silent study space is still available, and will be soundproofed for the first time.

The John Bedford Room will be used for teaching and research, equipped with high tech visualisers that enable those in the room and online to examine documents with a curator at the same time.

Researchers can book appointments to view documents virtually rather than on site – especially useful for international researchers. The room holds up to 40 people and has a moveable partition.

There are small private meeting spaces for curatorial staff to meet and undertake ‘virtual’ consultations.

Steve Gilley, Director of Estates and Facilities, University of Leeds said:

“Working with the Libraries team and our contractors we consulted with academic colleagues about what they needed from this space. They told us that there is a new focus on collaborative research, both in person and online.

“As a result there is now more space for group and individual work, with a mezzanine floor added, as well as better lighting and comfort, and the ergonomics of the space which came up in our consultation as an issue have been improved.”

Joanne Fitton, Associate Director, Special Collections and Galleries, University of Leeds said:

“We hope that these new spaces will inspire people at any stage of their research journey, giving them access to the amazing objects in our collections and to get involved in the creation of new knowledge.

“The new audio-visual equipment will allow us to share the treasures in the collections through public lectures, webinars and events, building on the success of our Galleries’ online programme during lockdown. Lecturers who teach with the collections will also be able to reach larger or geographically-dispersed groups.”

John Bedford

John Bedford was an antique dealer and collector who amassed a significant modern book collection on the history of furniture design over a period of 40 years. The John Evan Bedford Library of Furniture History has been donated to Special Collections for teaching and research.

His generous bequest is supporting the extension and refurbishment of the Special Collections Research Centre.

Further information about the Brotherton Library refurbishment.

Esther Simpson Exterior

New flagship building is a stunning new gateway to campus

The Esther Simpson building, a new flagship teaching facility for the School of Law and LUBS officially opened its doors at the start of term.   

The innovative teaching centre provides world-class facilities that support participative learning and create an inspirational setting for staff and students. It is also home to collaborative and inclusive learning spaces to enable the delivery of activities to support students to develop the knowledge, skills, behaviours and professional competencies to better equip them for working in a global environment. 

Building completion

The building was handed over to the University by construction company BAM in early September and over the last few weeks the final fit-out stage has been completed. The building hosts a variety of teaching spaces, a new café and a beautifully designed new artwork sculpture.  

Commenting on the building, Director of Estates, Steve Gilley said:

“We are absolutely delighted with the Esther Simpson building, it is a fabulous building which contributes to the University’s wider ambition to create an environment that promotes learning, innovation and enterprise.  

“The success of this project has been a result of diligent project management by colleagues in Estates and strong collaboration with colleagues in LUBS and Law. Throughout, we have worked together to ensure everything worked in the best possible manner.  

“The building also creates a stunning new gateway for campus. Our University community will now be able to easily navigate their way from Clarendon Road into the heart of campus in a matter of minutes. The route is fully accessible with newly refurbished pedestrian paths and tactile paving in addition to an accessible ramp installed along the route towards Storm Jameson.” 

Executive Dean of the Business School, Julia Bennell said:

“The teaching facilities provided by the Esther Simpson building are truly state-of-the-art and among the best in the UK. It will offer an inspiring environment for our staff and students. The technology enhanced collaborative learning spaces, specialist observation laboratories, trading rooms and a magnificent Harvard style lecture theatres are critical parts of our strategy to lead in interactive pedagogies. 

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to everybody who has contributed to delivering this project. It is a wonderful achievement and one that will go a long way to supporting us in delivering our new ambitious University and Business School strategies. 

“The building will give us a platform to deliver something truly unique for business school students and help us to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours needed to make a real difference to society.” 

Benefits of the teaching spaces

Trading rooms 

The Esther Simpson Building will benefit from having two 24 seat trading rooms. The primary trading room will be a real showpiece for the building and is housed in a glass room visible from the main reception area. Having the trading rooms will allow students to practice trading in a safe environment using real time information. It helps bridge the gap between theory and practice, giving students the opportunity to apply finance theories to decision making through real world scenarios 

Behaviour labs

There are behaviour labs that are divided into three areas, the data collection lab, observation room and the boardroom. These are a real differentiator for the Business School and will enable students and researchers to undertake real-time observational research and data collection. 

Lecture theatres

As well as a wide range of teaching spaces the building has two state-of-the-art lecture theatres – a 240 seat Harvard Style lecture theatre and a 390-seat traditional lecture theatre. The Harvard-style lecture theatre is gently raked to give good vision for all users and each seat will turn 180 degrees to allow for easier collaboration. Both lecture theatres are designed with plenty of space between the seats, have individual power supplies, are decorated to promote concentration and allow students to interact digitally with the academic staff. 

Professor Louise Ellison, Head of School, School of Law added:

 “The School of Law is incredibly excited about the opening of the Esther Simpson building. We aim to create a campus environment that is truly inspirational and that meets the standards that we set as one of the UK’s leading law schools.  

“This new building will help provide a transformative teaching space close to our Liberty Building home on the Western Campus and allow us to further develop our student experience.” 

Beautifully designed sculpture

The building is also home to a striking new sculpture installation which joins many other unique pieces to form the University artwork trail. The words titled “To Leaf is to Learn” scripted by University Poet Laureate and Professor of Poetry, Simon Armitage    adorn the sculpture and illustrate the concept of the artwork representing a notebook sheet.  

Commenting on the artwork and the unique opportunity to create the sculpture, world-renowned Spanish sculptor, Juanjo Novella said:   

“This is my first artwork in the UK, and I am honoured! I am very pleased with the sculpture. I planned this project as a realm of limitations such as a lack of adequate space to display a sculpture, obstacles such as the tree, the fence, and the need to keep the electrical substation hidden. Those cons were a real challenge and I enjoyed it. The result had to be a unique answer, it had to be beautiful and meaningful while meeting the environmental and place demands. 

“I’m also very happy it forms part of the University of Leeds art trail. It is distinguished from other art routes by its expressive silence and elegant tone. The pieces are part of the architecture, they are not ‘screaming’, all of them remain calm and their expression is slow and deep. It also represents a historical trace in terms of time.”

Layla Bloom, Curator, University Galleries commented:

“Novella’s ‘Curtain’ sculpture is a stunning addition to the University’s growing public art trail. The collaboration between artist and poet adds such an inspiring message for our students, welcoming them to the joy of learning.  It also highlights the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability – on a grand scale.

The Esther Simpson Building

Find out more about the project.

Cleaning Operative cleaning sinks in Newlyn Building

Committed to providing a safe, clean environment on campus

Cleaning Services have published their new transitional Service Level Agreement. This transitional SLA has been established due to the requirements for enhanced cleaning of campus facilities and the continued uncertainties around transitional and future ways of work on campus. It sets out how Cleaning Services will continue to ensure that campus is a safe and clean environment conducive to learning and working. It is an output specification that can be readily adapted to service requirements if circumstances change over the coming months.  

All members of the University community will notice more frequent cleaning of high footfall areas such as main entrances, internal access routes and washroom facilities. The team will also focus on the sanitising of high touch point areas. This includes door handles, handrails and reception area fixtures and fittings. If you have any concerns about the frequency or quality of cleaning on campus, please let us know via email CleaningComments@leeds.ac.uk 

As well as the increased frequency and standard of cleaning on campus, personal responsibility is another key part of infection control. Cleaning Services are providing sanitising sprays and blue roll across campus so that staff and students can clean working areas before and after using them to reduce the spread of the virus. If you notice more sanitising products are needed in any areas, please advise us through the online ordering form.   

Alongside working on campus to keep it clean and safe throughout the pandemic, the team has put in place several initiatives over the last couple of years aimed at delivering a more professional service to campus. They have undertaken suitable training to ensure that they can provide the necessary standard of service and new cleaning products and equipment have been introduced to improve the standards of cleaning across campus, including sanitising spraying equipment.  

The new methods and products introduced have helped the team to work in a more sustainable manner. For example, the service has purchased new battery powered i-mops which use 75% less water and enable a reduction in the amount of cleaning chemicals used. They have also now moved to purchasing super-concentrate cleaning products enabling less plastic waste. Cleaning Services received the Blueprint Changemaker Award at the 2021 Sustainability Awards to recognise these developments. 

The service has introduced new uniforms for the team with a range of different options. This means that all team members can choose to wear something they feel comfortable in. The new uniforms demonstrate clearly to the rest of the campus community that the cleaning team are a well-trained and professional service. Finally, the team have also adopted new job titles to more accurately represent a modern and professional service:

  • Senior Supervisors are now Operations Managers
  • Cleaning Supervisors are now Operations Team Leaders
  • Charge Hands are now Assistant Team Leaders
  • Cleaners are now Cleaning Operatives
Thousands of trees planted at Leeds Brownlee Triathlon Centre

5,000 trees planted at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre

University of Leeds and the Environment Agency plant 5000 trees at the Brownlee Triathlon Centre as part of natural measures to reduce flood risk.

The University of Leeds in partnership with the Environment Agency have planted more than 5000 trees at the University’s Brownlee Triathlon Centre to reduce flood risk to the Leeds area downstream.

Tree planting at Bodington Playing Fields, where the Brownlee Triathlon Centre is located, took place between February and March, and is part of a wider programme of natural flood management techniques being introduced into the Leeds catchment as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme’s flagship Natural Flood Management Project. The project is a great example of the University’s partnership approach to addressing the climate crisis through collaborative research and innovation.

The Brownlee Triathlon Centre and surrounding area was earmarked as the first urban pilot site last year as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme’s Natural Flood Management Project – looking at alternative and sustainable ways to manage flood risk and increase resilience to climate change. This will work alongside, and complement, traditional engineering being implemented through the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme, whilst also creating habitat for wildlife and helping regenerate rural and urban areas through tourism.

Thousands of trees planted at Leeds Brownlee Triathlon Centre

The scheme is also part of the University of Leeds Living Lab programme, with the site to be used for live research projects to test sustainable solutions; be an integral part of University teaching, and be a location for local schools and communities to visit.

Five sites have been set up to implement natural flood risk management techniques throughout the river catchment from the source of the River Aire, at Malham, through to Leeds City Centre, and are using natural measures such as tree planting and woodland creation, wetland scrapes and leaky barriers to reduce flood risk and benefit the environment.

James Wright, Head of Grounds and Gardens at the University of Leeds, said:

“We are delighted to have been a key partner in this scheme and assisted in the planting of 5000 trees as part of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme Natural Flood Management Project. This work has involved exceptional collaboration between academic and operational colleagues at the University of Leeds and the Environment Agency.

The site will provide significant research opportunities for University of Leeds students and academics for many years undertaking research in a range of specialisms. The site provides a great engagement opportunity for the local community to fully understand the range of NFM solutions installed in the Aire Valley catchment and research undertaken at the University.”

Fiona Sugden, The Environment Agency’s Leeds NFM Project Manager, said:

“It’s fantastic news that 5000 trees have now been planted at this site. The creation of a woodland area will have multiple benefits for people and wildlife – not just reducing flood risk downstream, but will benefit the environment by creating new woodland habitat, boosting biodiversity, help mitigate climate change, whilst also providing valuable opportunities for people to understand how well natural flood techniques perform.

The Triathlon Centre is a real asset for students and the local community, and we hope that visitors will also be able to learn about how effective natural flood management can be.”

Natural flood management is an important part of the Environment Agency’s strategy in protecting communities from flood risk and they work with natural processes and use natural flood management measures where they are technically feasible and provide good value.

It can be a cost-effective and sustainable way to manage flood risk alongside, and supporting, traditional engineering, while creating habitat for wildlife and helping regenerate rural and urban areas through tourism.

For more information about the University’s response to the climate crisis.

For out more about the University of Leeds Living Lab.

Bains wing and The great Wall

Local and Community History Month 2021

May is Local and Community History Month. To celebrate, we’ve collated a collection of old photographs of campus to help increase awareness of local history.

The Bains Wing/Great Hall

  • Construction started on The Great Hall in 1884 and took 10 years to complete.
  • Along with Clothworkers Buildings and Baines Wing, the building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse (famous for his work on the Natural History Museum in London).
  • The red brick style waterhouse used for the buildings helped coin the term ‘red brick university’.

An old photo of The Great Hall

Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

  • The Leeds University Business School (LUBS) acquired the 19th century Maurice Keyworth, previously owned by Leeds Grammar School
  • LUBS have since constructed further modern buildings around the Maurice Keyworth, such as the Clarendon Building and Charles Thackrah Building.

An old photo of the LUBS building which used to be a Grammar school

The Brotherton Library

  • Before the Brotherton Library was built, the undercroft of The Great Hall housed all of the University’s library collections
  • In 1927, Edward Brotherton donated £100,000 to the University to fund its first purpose-built library
  • Today, the Beaux-Arts building is Grade ll listed.

An old photo of the Brotherton Library

Find out more about the history of the University of Leeds.