Parkinson Building

Creating a campus for everyone

A key aim for the University is to have a campus that is accessible for everyone.

The Facilities Directorate has been working hard to improve the accessibility of existing areas of campus, as well as to make equality of access a top consideration in the planning of new buildings.

In light of #DisabilityHistoryMonth we thought that this would be a great opportunity to showcase the accessibility works that have taken place across campus over the past years.

Discovery Way opens up campus

The completion of Nexus on the eastern edge of the University has opened up a new accessible route onto campus. The Discovery Way entrance is located on Woodhouse Lane, and provides a step-free route to the Orange Zone car park and E C Stoner Building, and from there to The Edge, Roger Stevens, Chancellor’s Court and beyond.

Nexus Discovery Way

Chemistry lift completed

The new lift in the School of Chemistry has now been completed, providing an accessible route to lecture theatres A and B.

Accessible water fountain fitted

A bespoke-designed water fountain has been installed on the Precinct. The fountain has two water spouts, one of which is positioned so that it is easily accessible for wheelchair users. Fill up your water bottle there and help with the University’s #2023PlasticFree Pledge!

Campus map updated with new defibrillators

The interactive campus map has been updated to show the locations of new defibrillators which have been fitted at Henry Price, Nexus and in Clothworker’s Court.

Further improvements to external steps on campus

There have been further improvements made to external steps across campus. Handrails have been fitted on the steps under the Roger Stevens Building leading to the Astbury Centre and on the steps leading down to the Edward Boyle Library from the Social Sciences Building. The steps have been lined with yellow paint to further improve campus accessibility.

Edward Boyle Steps

Ensuring digital accessibility for all

In response to new legislation setting a higher expectation for digital accessibility, the University has been taking steps to recognise where accessibility can be improved across our digital estate. An accessibility statement has been published on the University’s corporate website explaining which areas of the estate are not yet fully accessible, and how we plan to improve their accessibility.
The University has also engaged a third-party auditor to test our websites’ compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Following on from this the University Communications team is running awareness sessions for relevant staff across the University to explain what is needed to improve our accessibility further.

Makeover for University’s main entrance

A large project to improve the look and general accessibility around the main entrance to the University has now been completed. Previously the area where the Michael Sadler Building meets the side of the Parkinson Building had sloping feathered steps on one side, and uneven ground without a clear pathway on the other. These feathered steps have been removed and replaced with a green area featuring a newly planted semi-mature tree. On the other side, the seating area has been redone with more attractive furniture, improved landscaping and clear accessible routes to allow easy access from Woodhouse Lane onto University Road.

University of Leeds campus entrance

Parkinson Building now accessible for all

The Parkinson Building, our most iconic building on campus, is now more accessible than ever following the completion of work to upgrade the Parkinson steps and handrails and install a lift at the main entrance of the building. For the first time in its history, the University has made it possible for all visitors, students and staff to enter the Parkinson Building together using the main entrance.

Sabiha Patel, Head of Equality and Inclusion, commented: “I am grateful to the University and delighted with this development to Parkinson Building. Full access to our buildings is an essential first step to inclusion. Everyone should now be able to enter the building easily and take advantage of all the opportunities it affords.”

PC Charlotte Maude stood in front of Parkinson Building

Meet our new Police Higher Education Liaison officer, PC Charlotte Maude

PC Maude started as the new Police Higher Education Liaison Officer in September, taking over from PC Hurrell. Read below to learn a bit more about what attracted her to the role and what she hopes to achieve during her time at the University.

Tell us a bit about your background, how long have you worked for West Yorkshire Police?

I have been a police officer for 7 years, working in west Leeds. I have worked mostly as a patrol officer going to ‘blue light’ jobs, however I have also worked on a neighbourhood policing team. This involved investigating crimes which required a long term problem solving approach.

What was it that attracted you to the role of Police Higher Education Liaison Officer?

The University is a small town, which requires a policing presence. I was attracted to the role due to being able to work as part of a large team full of people with skills from all different walks of life. The student population in Leeds is huge and having the opportunity to be based on campus alongside both students and staff will hopefully give them a safe learning and working environment.

Could you explain a little bit more about your role, and how it helps staff and students at the University?

I am based in the Security Office and work alongside the campus security team. My role involves investigating crimes that have taken place on campus, alongside offering support, advice and guidance to students and staff. I have an open door policy so anyone can drop in when I am at work and I will happily assist where I can. Often people choose to speak to me anonymously for advice so they can make a fully informed decision prior to reporting something to the police.

As I am the liaison officer between the University of Leeds and West Yorkshire Police, I will often take statements and speak with staff and students about matters that have taken place off campus to assist my colleagues.

What are the main things you’re hoping to achieve in your time as Police Higher Education Liaison Officer?

I have come to the University at a very difficult time for everyone because of the covid-19 pandemic. My short term aim is to assist the University in keeping students safe during the pandemic. However, my main focus is to work closely with the security team to both detect and prevent crime to continue to make the University a safe place to both work and study.

What issues or problems would you recommend staff and students coming to talk to you about?

Anything you feel the police would be able to help with. If it turns out to be something that the police would not usually deal with, I will be able to assist you in finding the right department at the University to help you.

What advice would you have for students who have just moved to Leeds?

Leeds is a very big city with a lot to do. Unfortunately options are limited at the moment due to covid-19. However, hopefully, it won’t be forever and soon you’ll be able to take advantage of what Leeds has to offer.

Like other university cities, crimes do take place within student areas. However, there are things you can do to try and prevent yourself from becoming a victim of crime:

  • Lock your doors (even when you are at home)
  • Keep all valuables out of sight
  • Do not walk across dark areas, such as Woodhouse Moor, alone.
How can staff or students get in touch with you?

You can email me C.Maude1@leeds.ac.uk, call me on 07525243483 or come to speak to me at the Security Office:

Security Services
University of Leeds
175 Woodhouse Lane
Leeds
LS2 9JT

 

Astbury Building at the University of Leeds

Re-opening our buildings

We’ve been busy over the last few months preparing to re-open our buildings and make them covid-secure.

Returning buildings to operation is a complex process, involving numerous teams and is governed by health and safety legislation. Whilst this isn’t a linear process the information below outlines the various stages we need to go through to ensure a building is safe to occupy.

  • Technical compliance: Includes fires and smoke checks, electrical compliance, lifts, mechanical equipment tests. This usually takes around four weeks.
  • Water compliance: Includes water quality testing and water hygiene (legionella) testing. This usually takes between three and six weeks. Find out what happens if a water test fails.
  • Health and safety measures: Covid-19 compliance including installation of social distancing signage, hand sanitiser dispensers stations.
  • Building cleaning: Thorough clean and service of buildings.
  • Final sign-off: Following the completion of health and safety checks and a visit from the Trade Union each building is signed off by the Re-entry Steering Group.

The Estates and Facilities Services have been crucial at every stage of the process.

Len Wilson, Deputy Director of Estates (Capital): ‘Ensuring our buildings are safe and secure in line with Public Health Guidelines has been a significant team effort. Services from Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Estates and Facilities and colleagues from specific Schools and Faculties have all come together to ensure our buildings are safe for when our staff and students return. It has been a lengthy and complex process but we can reassure those staff and students returning to campus that our open buildings are safe.’

The majority of staff are still working from home with a lot of teaching being delivered online. Learn more about how the University is reopening buildings.

An international student checking in at Charles Morris with a mask on

Creating a safe and secure environment for our students

Estates and Facilities have been working with colleagues across the University to create a safe and secure environment ready to welcome our current and new students back.

Maintaining a safe environment

Cleaning Services are delivering their comprehensive Cleaning Plan as part of buildings reopening. The team are carrying out a thorough clean of campus facilities in line with the senior management plan of building opening schedules. Cleaning methods, equipment, cleaning and sanitising products are being investigated and reviewed where necessary to facilitate any changes required for the future, Public Health England guidelines and industry best practice are all being taken into consideration in decision making.

Re-designing for social distancing

A team of project managers from the Design Team are supporting the re-opening of buildings, from re-designing the internal layout to meet social distancing guidelines, to supporting Schools and Faculties in correctly interpreting the health and safety guidance when re-opening the buildings.

Ensure the safety of everyone on campus

Since the lockdown started Security Services have continued to provide a 24/7 presence on campus. To ensure the safety of those staff  and students  still working or in residences, they are deploying  more high visibility patrols around University property.

Continuing to develop campus

Whilst a high percentage of campus development projects remain on hold for the indefinite future, the team have been trying to mobilise projects based on contracts and urgency of completion.  This includes the Clothworkers refurbishment and plans to progress the completion of Levels 4 and 9 of the Faculty of Biological Sciences refurbishment. Several asbestos works to buildings across campus have been completed to all the plantrooms across campus.

All staff and contractors are strictly adhering to Public Health England/Government guidelines on Covid 19.

Communicating new safety measures

The FD Marketing and Communications team have worked with colleagues from across the University and an external agency ClearHead to communicate to students and staff the measures our services have put in place to ensure their safety. As well as how you can help us keep everyone safe.

Safety on campus

Relaxed, safe accommodation at the University of Leeds

Sara Barker artwork on the side of the Bragg Building

Exploring the boundary between art and science

A major sculpture has been installed on the side of the new Sir William Henry Bragg Building an engineering and physical sciences development at the University of Leeds.

The artwork, measuring seven metres by just over six metres, appears to levitate more than four metres above the ground.

By artist Sara Barker, the installation is made from light-weight welded aluminium and a variety of shapes, motifs and colours convey ideas linked to science and engineering – and make connections with Leeds as a former centre of the textile industry and as a creative city.

She has used iridescent paints inspired by research at the University, which allows parts of the structure to take on a different colour depending on the angle it is viewed from.

Ms Barker said: “It felt it was like a real opportunity to try something different in my work, a curve ball that might activate or completely transform the work in different lighting, while representing in some sense the powerful and creative crossovers between specialisms that happen all the time amongst academics and scientists in the building.

“I want the work to sit between the qualities of drawing, collage, textile, painting and sculpture, and its meaning and derivation to be correspondingly subjective and open to our interpretation.”

The installation is on the side of the new building that will house the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences from next year. The building is named after Sir William Henry Bragg whose pioneering research at the University in the early 1900s won a Nobel prize and unlocked some of the biggest discoveries in modern science.

Sculpture by Sara Barker on the Sir William Henry Bragg buiildingAs people walk around the sculpture, the symbols that represent that research are gradually revealed – the Bragg equation: nλ = 2 d sin θ.

The artwork is titled The Worlds of If – a reference to the possibilities that open up when scientists and engineers work together and share ideas. That philosophy of collaboration will underpin research in the new building, on topics such as the development of new materials, more energy-efficient computing devices and drug discovery. It will also house laboratories and teaching spaces.

Sir Alan Langlands, predecessor to the new Vice-Chancellor: Professor Simone Buitendijk, said:  “Sara Barker’s striking artwork is a vibrant reminder of the Nobel Prize winning contribution of the Braggs in ‘the analysis of crystal structures by means of X-rays’ and the power of science in shaping modern society.

“The Sir William Henry Bragg Building will provide state of the art facilities to support ground-breaking interdisciplinary research, spanning engineering, physical sciences and computing, and linking with colleagues in medicine and biology. The Bragg Centre for Materials Research will discover, create and design new materials which will translate to a wide range of industrial settings.

“Critically, this new complex will also provide creative spaces for students, ensuring that their research-based education is enriched by having access to cutting edge laboratories, workshops and digital facilities.”

The contribution of the Braggs to scientific research

Sir William Henry Bragg was the Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University from 1909 to 1915. He conducted research with his son, William Lawrence Bragg.

The Braggs had discovered that a beam of X-rays is diffracted or bends as it passes through crystals including large biological molecules. That research not only led to the Bragg equation but also a technique to investigate atomic and molecular structure known as X-ray crystallography.

Nearly 40 years after the Braggs received the Nobel prize, X-ray crystallography became part of the scientific investigations that revealed the double-helix shape of DNA and revolutionised the understanding of molecular biology.

Artist Sara Barker said: “I wanted to make a connection to Bragg from the outset, given the historical and continued importance of his crystallographic research.”

Significance of the Braggs’ research

Dr Kersten Hall, a Visiting Fellow at the University, is both a scientist and historian of science.

He said: “The work that the Braggs did here was massively significant. To date, 28 Nobel prizes have been won using that technique that they developed – X-ray crystallography. Thanks to that method, scientists have been able to work out the shape of medically important compounds such as the antibiotic Penicillin and the hormone insulin.

“But perhaps most famously at all, their method of X-ray crystallography helped scientists to unravel the structure of DNA, the genetic molecule and its helical structure which explains how it passes on genetic information from one generation to the next.”

Sara Barker trained at the Glasgow School of Art, Painting department in 2003, where she now teaches. She currently has a solo exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery until the end of September 2020. Her forthcoming solo exhibition at Cample Line, Dumfriesshire, opens in October 2020.

 

Car Park

Changes to parking on campus

From 7 September, free parking on campus will come to an end and a temporary permit system will be introduced. If you plan to park on campus or hold an existing permit, please follow this guidance.

For colleagues planning their commute to campus, we are enhancing active travel provisions, giving advice on the public transport options available in Leeds and offering individual travel planning where required. Head to the commuting to campus page to learn more about your different travel and commuting options.

Parking on campus

As we enter period two of our approach to planning the return to campus, free parking on campus during core hours will come to an end from 7 September 2020 (you can read more about our approach in the email sent to all colleagues on 4 June).
As many colleagues will continue to work from home, a new temporary interim permit system will be introduced for those who do require parking. These arrangements are expected to continue whilst social distancing measures remain in force (expected to be until at least the end of 2020).

Key changes to parking for staff from 7 September
  • Free parking during core hours (7am – 5pm, Monday – Friday) will end at 7am Monday 7 September. Free staff parking outside of these core hours will continue as usual.
  • All staff who are required to work on campus and would like to park will need to hold a new interim parking permit, or pay the new daily parking rate of £5. You can apply for a new interim permit on the ParkIT webpage (please note: to access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop).
  • As many existing permit holders will not be working on campus, all existing permits remain suspended and payments will not be restarted.
  • Blue Badge holders are not affected by these changes and will continue as usual. If you require accessibility support, email the car parking team
  • Reserved bays will be available in the multi-story car park for staff arriving after 9.30am. These will be clearly marked and anyone parking in these spaces between 6am – 9.30am risk receiving a parking charge notice.

Interim permit

To support our plans to gradually reopen campus, we are introducing a new interim parking permit for staff which will be valid from 7 September until social distancing measures are lifted.

  • In order to obtain an interim permit, you must apply online via the via the ParkIT webpage (To access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop).
  • Everyone who applies for a permit will receive one and all permits will be automatically allocated following completion of the application form.
  • The number of applications will be continuously monitored and the allocation process reviewed if demand becomes too high. Any changes will be communicated directly to permit holders and all staff via the coronavirus website and all staff eNewsletters.
  • All permits issued within the interim period are for this period only and will not affect applications or be carried forward beyond this.
  • Interim permits cover a minimum of one month and will be automatically renewed on a monthly basis. They can be cancelled by emailing the car parking team.

Car parking charges

The cost of the interim permit is based on salary and will be deducted through University payroll monthly as detailed below:

  • Salary: up to £24,461 = £18pcm
  • Salary: £24,461.01 upwards = £25pcm
  • Apply for a permit now using the ParkIT webpage (To access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop). If you are unable to apply online then please contact you line manager or emailing the car parking team for assistance

Please note:

  • Interim permits will operate under the existing parking permit terms of use which can be viewed on the car parking website.
  • Postgraduate students and researchers are not eligible for an interim permit as the deductions are taken through the University payroll.
  • No parking will be available for students during core hours (7am – 5pm, Monday – Friday).

Existing annual permit holders

As an existing permit holder your permit will continue to be suspended and you will not be charged any annual deductions throughout this period. All current 2020 permit discs will not be valid for parking on campus from 7 September.

To park on campus from 7 September you must either:

  • apply for an interim permit on the ParkIT webpage (To access the ParkIT website off campus, you need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop); or
  • pay for day parking.
    We are unable to support car sharing applications at this time.

Existing motorcycle permit holders

All existing permits are being cancelled from 7 September 2020, and anyone who wants to re-apply for a motorcycle permit can do so via the ParkIT webpage (please note, you can only access this link through the Virtual Windows Desktop).
Free parking on campus ends at 7am on the 7 September and a valid permit will then be required.
Motorcycle permits are being cancelled to ensure that staff who are working from home and don’t need to park on campus are not required to pay their annual permit deductions.

Daily parking and visitors

A new daily parking rate of £5 applies to infrequent staff users parking on campus. This is available by collecting a QR code from the barrier on Woodhouse Lane between 8am – 4pm. Please bring your staff ID card with you. Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Visitor parking will be available at a cost of £7 per day and must be booked using the ParkIT webpage.

Contact us

If you have any questions on car parking at the University then please visit the car parking webpage or get in touch with carparking@leeds.ac.uk.

Maurice Keyworth refurbishment project

Virtual Open Day

The University of Leeds will be hosting its first virtual open day over two weeks from 29 June.

The open day is a great way for prospective students to get a sense of our beautiful campus and see the fantastic learning and teaching spaces we have. Estates and Facilities have always supported the running of the open days by ensuring the campus is looking its absolute best and that all buildings are open ready for visitors. However, since the event is now a virtual open day we thought we could help showcase our incredible study spaces.

Refurbished spaces

The Design Office create inspiring and engaging study space for students to work in a variety of different ways. The spaces are divided into zones using furniture solutions that encourage collaborative group work as well as quiet areas for individual study and contemplation.

We’ve recently completed a number of refurbishment projects including:

 

New building projects

As well as refurbishing current spaces we also have a number of on-going and future projects that will transform the student experience at the University of Leeds.

Sir William Henry Bragg Building

Set to open its doors to students in 2021, the new building represents a significant investment by the University in a new integrated campus for Engineering and Physical Sciences. The facility will include first-class laboratory and specialised teaching spaces, enabling cutting-edge research, and outstanding student experience, whilst enhancing the University’s research power and strengthening collaboration with industry.

Watch a fly-through of the Sir William Henry Bragg Building

The Esther Simpson Building

Phase three of a multi-million-pound project to develop new Leeds University Business School and School of Law buildings. It will be a new central teaching space for all to use and will provide technology-rich, flexible teaching spaces, lecture theatres, and trading rooms, further advancing the delivery of world-class teaching solutions.

Watch a fly-through of the Esther Simpson Building

 

 

Screenshot from the time-lapse camera of The Esther Simpson Building site

Update on the Esther Simpson Building project

Many of our campus development projects had been placed on hold. However, work continued on the Esther Simpson Building site whilst closely following the Public Health England recommendations.

Since most of us have been away from campus the Esther Simpson Building project has been making progress. Below is an update from the contractor BAM about what work has happened in recent months.

Building progress

  • Steelwork has commenced on site and we are currently building the first phase of the works.  This starts from the side nearest the Substation working towards Cloberry Street.  Within this element is one of the first staircases to be installed also.
  • Once the first part of the frame is complete we will install nets to protect operatives before they commence installing the metal sheets which will become part of the floor structure
  • Due to failure in the surface to the temporary nursery drop off bays we have organised for this to be replaced with a fresh layer to ensure longevity for the scheme.
  • The next stage of structural works will require us to concrete the higher floors along with forming the basement concrete box housing the plantroom.

Timelapse

Watch a time-lapse of the Esther Simpson Building project.

Photograph of the green space behind Leeds University Union

Grounds and Gardens – An essential service

While many of us continue to work from home there remains a core of essential workers who are maintaining campus for when we return, including the Grounds and Gardens team.

Campus gardeners

The campus based team have been busy ensuring the external estate does not become overgrown and unmanaged during lockdown.  The work has included mowing the lawns, weed control, watering of the new planting that was undertaken by the team prior to lockdown.

Photograph of the flower beds outside Baines Wing

Moving forward the Grounds and Gardens team will shortly be removing the annual bedding, unfortunately due to supply issues we will not be able to plant up the Baines Wing this summer, but the team have already placed the order for autumn delivery with Leeds City Councils Nursery at the Arium.

Sports Park Weetwood

The team at Weetwood have completed the essential annual pitch renovation programme.  In normal circumstances this work usually commences in early April with the final pitch usually renovated in late June.  This year the team have successfully procured grass seed that is 100% UK grown from farms in Hampshire & Suffolk.  The team have been able to make the most of the natural rainfall available and good growing conditions.

Sports Park Weetwood pitch

Handy gang

The Estates handy gang team have been busy since lockdown providing support to the NHS. This has included the delivery of beds and furniture items to LGI and St James University Hospital from a storage facility on campus.

The team worked successfully with colleagues in Health & Safety, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds Institute for Cardiovascular And Metabolic Medicine to ensure the safe delivery of a Cat 2 hood from the Light Building to the Old Medical School to facilitate Covid-19 research.

During all times staff have been following social distancing guidelines where work has involved staff members working together.

A big thank you goes to the team for all their hard work during this uncertain time.

Great Hall

Missing campus?

If you’re missing campus as much as we are, check out the galleries below.

Thank you to the Director of Estates, Steve Gilley, who has captured these beautiful shots of campus during the University shutdown. The majority of students and staff may not be there but campus is still full of life.

Campus wildlife

Campus in bloom

Iconic buildings