a blueprint for a brand new ‘innovation and enterprise hub’ at the University of Leeds has been presented to senior councillors for the first time as the first part of a £520m masterplan to overhaul the world-renowned campus.
The new cutting edge facility – expected to open in 2018 – would link in with local businesses and act as a major centre for technology-led research, as well as providing expert support for fledgeling firms started by the University’s own students and other new talent.
Architect James Hall told Leeds council’s City Plans Panel that the overall vision was about “how the University can affect the city and the nation”.
The new enterprise centre, costing £40m, would sit near the existing E C Stoner building. It would include lots of green communal spaces and landscaping in line with the University’s ambition to be an “urban biodiversity exemplar”. Mr Hall explained the hub would house no students, just research and ‘incubator’ space.
He said it was part of the wider university masterplan and was intended to be the first of three buildings. It will sit on land currently used as a car park.
The new enterprise and innovation centre is planned for the southern part of the campus.
Other plans for the north-eastern part will be unveiled later in the year.
Steve Gilley, director of estates at the University of Leeds, said: “Over the next five years, the University is investing a significant £520m into a transformative campus developments programme. It will result in a world class campus at the heart of a vibrant city, where visitors will recognise our commitment to invest in knowledge and cutting edge research.
“Over the coming months, Indigo Planning will assist us in working closely with all stakeholders, to enable us to deliver buildings that are at the forefront of innovation and research, and ensure the University maintains its status as one of the highest ranking universities in the UK.”