PGR room sign reads PGR Lounge

New postgraduate research student space opens

A new study space and meeting place for University of Leeds postgraduate research students has opened above the Refectory.

The new area, which will be staffed by teams from Leeds University Union, provides a mixture of quiet and communal spaces to suit students working independently and collaboratively and building communities.

The Estates team worked closely with Leeds University Union to make sure that the space met the needs of students.

Project Manager Alicia Graham said:

“This project has delivered on the brief that was set by Leeds University Union to create a space that was both welcoming and versatile for postgraduate students.

“Colleagues from Estates have had regular meetings with members of LUU to ensure that the space was suitable and appropriate for our postgraduate research students.”

It has been redecorated and reconfigured by the Estates team’s interior designers, providing a brighter and more versatile area for students.

Find out more about our ongoing and completed projects.

Image of Cromer Terrace S&C facility

Refurbished Cromer Terrace strength and conditioning facility opens

A state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility at the University of Leeds’ Cromer Terrace that will become a home for the University’s sports clubs and performance athletes has officially opened.

The newly refurbished space includes a new strength and conditioning floor alongside physio and massage therapy facilities and will allow specialist staff to provide new levels of performance support to students representing the University across more than 65 sports.

It will also be used as an academic teaching space and allow the University to grow its teaching and research agenda with partners across the city.

The space has been kitted out with sector-leading strength and conditioning equipment from BLK BOX, who also supply the Nike HQ in London, Aston Villa Football Club and Irish Rugby.

Work on the building started in early 2023, with its completion providing students with the chance to use the facilities after returning for the start of spring term.

Supporting student athletes

David Oldroyd, Interim Director of Development at the University of Leeds, said: “The refurbished Cromer Terrace is a prime example of how we are implementing our strategy to repurpose and improve the facilities we have on campus.

“This has been a joint project between Estates, Sport & Physical Activity and Leeds University Union, a collaboration that has enabled us to provide a top-quality training facility our student athletes can use to reach their sporting potential.”

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport at the University of Leeds said: “The development and refurbishment of our facilities will hugely enhance the offer and experience here at Leeds.

“By upgrading our facilities, we can further support our incredibly talented athletes and provide our knowledgeable staff with spaces that allow them to deliver the best possible training.”

Find out more about the services provided by Sport & Physical Activity, including details on facilities, memberships and more. 

Read more about the Estates team. 

Leeds university business school, maurice keyworth building

New net zero work explores geothermal heat on campus

The Estates team start work today (29 January) to explore whether there is geothermal energy underground on campus that could be used to heat buildings.

Bringing together experts from the Facilities Directorate and the academic community, the project is part of the University’s Net Zero Delivery Plan.

Eight test boreholes will be drilled on campus looking for underground water at a temperature that could be used to heat part of the estate.

Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation & Development said:

“As part of our Climate Plan, it is critical that we reduce emissions created by heating the campus.

“This truly collaborative work explores not only a solution for that reduction, but also offers a real-life research opportunity to our staff and students as a Living Lab. We’ll share our learnings with our partners in the wider city too.

“We’re sorry that the work will cause some disruption on campus and we’re doing everything we can to mitigate that.”

What does the work involve?

Specialists ANTS Drilling will drill eight boreholes which will reach between 150 and 250 metres into the ground below campus. Some of these holes will be water wells, looking for underground water at the right temperature to use for geothermal heat. These are around 50cm in diameter. Some of the holes will be monitoring wells and are around 15cm in diameter.

Once the test boreholes are completed they will be capped at ground level.

Find out more about geothermal drilling on the Sustainability website.

Check locations and potential disruption on the Estates website.

As the work progresses there will be opportunities to find out more about progress and the research on the events page on the Sustainability website.


Image of Fariha Aasam

Ten minutes with Fariha Aasam

Meet Fariha Aasam, Waste Manager in the Facilities Directorate at the University of Leeds. Fariha joined the University in December 2023 and is focusing on making waste management more sustainable at the University.

Describe your job in a few sentences.

I am responsible for managing the waste contract of university and developing and implementing effective waste management strategies to minimise environmental impact and ensure compliance with regulations. I coordinate waste collection, recycling programs, and disposal methods on campus.

I also collaborate with departments to raise awareness about sustainable practices and promotes a culture of waste reduction among students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, I analyse waste data, track trends, and recommend improvements to enhance the University’s overall environmental sustainability efforts.

Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?

Right now, I’m working on how we can improve the rates of recycling at the University and how we can make students and staff aware about re-using, recycling and reducing waste.

What aspects of your job do you think are most important to people at the University?

My role is really collaborative in nature because I have to work with departments across the University, like the Cleaning team and the Sustainability team. I work with students and staff to help make processes more sustainable and to raise awareness of sustainable practice. We need to make people aware of how they can reduce waste before it’s been produced by re-using, recycling and re-thinking if we need to buy something.

It’s inspiring to see the campus community come together to make a collective effort towards a greener and cleaner environment.

What part of the job are you looking forward to most this year?

I am enthusiastic about implementing circular economy principles to reduce the University’s waste footprint. I’m looking forward to creating a more sustainable system where waste is being minimised and resources are being used more efficiently.

We are also well underway in our work for the University’s Climate Plan, which is a real priority for the University. It’s exciting to work on something that holds such importance, not just for the University of Leeds, but for everyone, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much progress we make over the next 12 months.

Can you tell us a bit about your background before you joined the University?

I am an environmentalist with over nine years of experience in waste management industry. In 2018, I received an Erasmus Plus Scholarship from the European Union to study a Masters in Urban Climate and Sustainability.

After that I worked with NHS Scotland on implementation of circular economy in procurement to make of healthcare sector sustainable. Most recently, I completed an MSc in Climate Justice from Glasgow Caledonian University.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy the collaborative nature of what I do. I work with students, staff and the different departments within the University every day. I get to speak with so many different people, which is amazing. I’m excited to see how we can work together to create more impact.

Knowing that the work I do today will have a positive impact on the university and the environment for years to come is incredibly satisfying. It’s about leaving a legacy of sustainable practices for future generations.

Find out more about the University’s net zero goals.

Roger stevens in winter

Estates and Facilities round off 2023 on a high

With festive celebrations, graduation ceremonies and more, December has been a busy and exciting month for Estates and Facilities. Read about our highlights from the final month of the year.

Decorating campus for the holidays

December means the holiday season, and the completion of a major operation undertaken by Estates and Facilities to make campus look and feel suitably festive.

The team collected 43 Christmas trees and installed them at well-known campus locations, including the Parkinson Building, the Great Hall and the Edward Boyle Library.

Our team also installed Christmas lights outside of the Great Hall.

Leeds-based design specialists Silver Bells Designs installed lighting and decorations on the biggest trees, including the 35ft tree in Beech Grove Plaza.

Supporting December graduation ceremonies

Graduation signage image


Graduation ceremonies took place in the Great Hall from 11-19 December, as thousands of students celebrated their achievements alongside friends and family.

Estates and Facilities played a key role in ensuring ceremonies ran smoothly, working around the clock to keep campus clean and tidy.

Roads around campus were swept for over 30 hours during December, helping to make sure that the estate looked in pristine condition for those all-important graduation pictures.

The team also made sure that guests knew where they were heading, through the installation of specialist signs across campus.

Thanks to everyone within the team who played their part in ensuring that these major events in our calendar ran smoothly.

Read more about the services Estates look after.

Parkinson Building

Net Zero Delivery Plan launched

The University of Leeds has recently shared its Net Zero Delivery Plan, with the Facilities Directorate leading the work to deliver a net zero estate.

As part of the Climate Plan, agreed in 2021, the University has committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The plan includes several major new projects and marks an investment of £153 million by the University.

Enabling work has begun and designs can be finalised for projects to help reduce emissions. The main building work will begin in 2025.

How are we committing to Net Zero Delivery Plan?

Initial projects as part of the University’s net zero commitment include:

  • Investing in new renewable energy generation to provide our grid electricity requirements across campus. The first phase of this will match our current grid electricity usage, cutting emissions by nearly 2,000 tonnes CO2e per year.
  • Upgrading the Worsley Building, one of the highest energy consuming buildings on campus, by installing solar panels and a heat recovery ventilation system to reduce energy use associated with heat loss, reducing emissions by more than 1,000 tonnes CO2e per year.
  • Developing a new localised energy centre for the engineering cluster of buildings, reducing emissions by emissions by nearly 1,000 tonnes CO2e per year.
  • Securing an increased electrical supply to campus from Northern Powergrid that will enable us to address the decarbonisation of our heating network.

You can read the Net Zero Delivery Plan by clicking on this link.

Christmas sack with gifts outside the Beech Grove Plaza Christmas tree

Enter our social media festive giveaway

Our Christmas giveaway is here! To celebrate the our campus getting ready for the festive season, we’re giving you a chance to win a £150 Amazon voucher – just in time for your last-minute Christmas shopping!

To enter you need to follow the instructions on the giveaway post found on our Campus Developments Instagram page.

Terms and conditions  

  1. Estates and Facilities will use any personal data submitted only for the purposes of facilitating the prize draw. 
  2. All entries must be received by Wednesday 13 December 2023 at 11:59pm.
  3. All correctly completed entries will be entered into a prize draw which will take place on Thursday 14 December 2023. The winner will be drawn at random. 
  4. One entry per person allowed, on completion of liking the post, commenting on the post and following the UoL Campus Development Instagram account. You can gain an additional FIVE entries by sharing a photo of a campus Christmas tree to your Instagram Story and tagging @uolcampusdevelopment.
  5. Giveaway is open to all University of Leeds staff and students. 
  6. The prizes include a £150 Amazon voucher, a beanie hat from The Edge, a KeepCup provided by Great Food at Leeds and two Great Food at Leeds coffee and cake vouchers. The Amazon voucher will be sent you via email. No cash alternative is possible.
  7. Prizes are not transferable or exchangeable.  
  8. The winner will be notified via the UoL Campus Developments Instagram from Thursday 14 December 2023. Estates and Facilities will make a reasonable attempt to contact the winner, but reserve the right to draw a substitute winner if this is not possible. 
  9.  Please note that Instagram are not responsible for any element of this promotion and has in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered this promotion. 
Bodington Playing Fields

Grounds and Gardens commended for sports pitch maintenance

The Grounds and Gardens team have been commended for their efforts in maintaining the University of Leeds’ sports pitches in a new report.

The Football Assessment report, powered by the Football Foundation, looked into six sports pitches at Bodington Football Hub and Bodington Playing Fields to offer support to improve the standard and maintenance of pitches. 

The pitches were graded at Advanced or High, which is a credit to our Grounds and Gardens team, who are responsible for managing and maintaining the green estate at the University.  

Bodington Playing Fields football pitches

Grassroots sports boost

The Bodington Football Hub site, which opened in October last year in a boost to grassroots sport in Leeds, includes three full-size, artificial 3G floodlit football pitches, car parking and a pavilion with changing facilities. 

Bodington Playing Fields grass pitches

The Bodington Playing Fields host more sports pitches which are regularly used by University staff and students as well as local community clubs to use for rugby, football and ultimate frisbee.

Just three miles north of the main University of Leeds campus, the site 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.  

Find out more about Sports Parks at the University of Leeds.

Sir William Henry Bragg Building

Bragg Building wins Leeds Architecture Award

The Sir William Henry Bragg Building won a Leeds Architecture Award in a ceremony at The Howard Assembly Room on the 1 November 2023.

Read more

Pink flowers blooming outside the Great Hall/Yorkshire in Bloom

University campus wins Gold in Yorkshire in Bloom Awards

The University of Leeds has achieved a Gold status and is a winner in the Universities, Colleges and Further Establishments category at this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom

Thanks to the hard work of the Estates and Sustainability teams, the University achieved a Gold award for its variety of well-maintained planted areas around campus, the volume of green space and future plans for the creation of green walls.

Tulips outside Roger Stevens Building

Yorkshire in Bloom – the regional body representing the Britain in Bloom – organises its annual competition encouraging schools, businesses and other community groups to create pleasant natural environments around them.

Sustainability was a major focus of the University’s submission, with significant interest paid to the Living Lab Sustainability Garden and the involvement of members of the University community in sustainability efforts around campus.

Daffodils outside St George's Field

The award marks another successful result for the University in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition, winning Gold in 2017, 2019 and 2022.

Find out more about the Grounds and Gardens team.