Work set to begin on new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science Building
(4 September 2018)
The creation of a brand new facility to house the departments of Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science has been given the green light by Durham County Council. Planning permission was granted for the project at a committee meeting on 4 September.
It is anticipated that work will begin on the University campus site at Upper Mountjoy in early November, with the new building ready for use in the academic year 2020/21.
The £40 million project will provide state-of-the-art learning, teaching and study spaces for both departments which have been earmarked for growth within the University Strategy 2017-27 Estates Masterplan. The departments will double their undergraduate student numbers by 2026/27 and increase their numbers of postgraduate researchers, as well as academic and support staff.
The building has been designed to facilitate greater integration of students and staff, and to develop further synergies between Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science. The scheme also includes an enterprise hub – to support student-led innovation – another key focus of the University Strategy.
Professor Patrick Hussey, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences) commented: “Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science are both departments which continue to thrive. The new facility will enable us to grow our student and staff numbers, attracting international talent to Durham, and further building on our reputation as a world leader in both Mathematics and Computer Science.
“Not only will the new building enable these departments to grow, it will also provide state-of-the-art facilities to enhance the student learning experience. We have undergone a thorough process of consultation to ensure that the new building will provide the best possible teaching and learning environments, as well as research space for our academic staff.”
The enterprise hub will be the first of a number of similar units across the campus. It will provide a space for students to experiment with business ideas with a focus on tech, working closely with the University Careers and Enterprise team, and with other local business partners.
Professor Hussey continued: “We need to think beyond our research strengths, to the ways in which our students can use their learning, and develop skills with real-world applications. We want to enable our students to engage with and value, innovation and enterprise. We are looking forward to seeing what initiatives will emerge from this.”
Development with Care
The Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science proposals were developed in consultation with staff, students and local residents.
Located on the Upper Mountjoy site, in a discreet location adjacent to other University buildings, the building has been designed to have a minimal impact upon key views of the World Heritage Site and Durham City Conservation Area.
The project is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, the University’s agreed standard for all new estates projects. The rating refers to the environmental, social and economic sustainability performance of the building.
The University Strategy 2017 – 2027
The development of the Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building forms part of the University’s ten-year Strategy, which includes ambitious proposals to deliver world-leading research, education and wider student experience. The Strategy envisages growth in key departments and expanding student numbers to a maximum of 21,500 by 2027.