Leeds University Union

  • Work began: Spring 2016
  • Work completed: April 2017
  • Cost: £16.8M
  • Contractors: Sir Robert McAlpine

Brief:  The multi million pound investment in the University Student Union building significantly transformed the facilities. It was an opportunity to provide state of the art facilities as well as improved access for all users.  This exciting project contributed towards the Union’s strategic plans to remain one of the UK’s biggest and best Unions.

Environmental improvements to the building were made and improved and extended social and recreational space were created. The result is a unique suite of venues under one roof and modern well-equipped theatres with increased capacity.

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Status: Complete

This project offers the opportunity to refurbish retail spaces, licensed bars and café areas within the building as well as creating improved performance venues and facilities for societies.

The building as a whole will remain open as work takes place, with parts of the building closed during periods of refurbishment.  A key element will be to improve access and navigation.  A new south entrance will help to provide a link through the building and improve wayfinding throughout.  Users will be able to navigate the building better through access from new lifts and better connections between spaces used for community engagement and co-curricular activities.

Current Activity Programme

An overview of the key activity expected over the next few months is outlined below:

May: SRM starts on site in phased approach to programme of work covering Old Bar, the Riley Smith hall and Pulse.

June: Work begins around the Foyer, Stylus corridor and Mine.

August: 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: Completion of Old Bar, Riley Smith Hall, Mine, Terrace Kitchen and first phase of the Foyer.

December: 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.

There will be significant disruption throughout as a result of working in an occupied building. Society space will be restricted during the refurbishment although alternative facilities are being provided to minimise the impact of this disruption.

For day-to-day activity updates visit the Leeds University Union upgrade website  www.unionupgrade.com

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