Work to begin on education hub
(13 September 2017)
Work to create a hub for educational innovation at Durham University will begin later this year.
The University anticipates work beginning on site for a new Centre for Teaching and Learning at Lower Mountjoy, Durham City, in December 2017 and the facility being completed and ready for use for the academic year 2019/20.
The £40 million Centre will host a wide range of learning environments and technologies, including new classrooms that will allow students to share courses in real time with students from peer institutions around the world.
There will be lecture theatres, teaching rooms, education laboratories where new teaching and training methods will be developed, student learning zones and catering facilities.
Durham County Council granted planning permission for the Centre at its meeting on Tuesday 12 September.
Developing the facility is part of Durham’s University Strategy, 2017-2027, to deliver world-class research, education and wider student experience.
Professor Alan Houston, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), said: “Durham is a world-leading university and the education we offer is one of the University’s greatest strengths. But we want to do better still.
“We want our education to be challenging, enabling, research-led and transformative, taking advantage of all the latest digital technologies, and the Centre for Teaching and Learning will be key to helping us achieve that vision.
“We are very pleased Durham County Council has supported our vision. We are looking forward to getting started on site and the Centre welcoming its first students in 2019.”
Once operational, the Centre will create 32 FTE jobs, in addition to 186 direct construction jobs and 281 indirect jobs during the construction period.
Outside of term time, the Centre will allow the University to host major academic conferences which will support the wider economic impact the University makes to Durham City, County and North East England.
These conference facilities will have the potential to attract 4,500 delegates over the 15-week University vacation period, contributing up to £2 million to the local economy.
Development with care
The Centre for Teaching and Learning proposals were developed in consultation with statutory consultees, staff, students and local residents.
The design of the building was carefully considered to respond to the context, including nearby buildings and views of the Durham World Heritage Site.
The project is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and insect friendly plants and native tree and shrub species will be incorporated into the soft landscaping for the site.
Work will be undertaken to enhance pedestrian movement around the site. On South Road, a footway will be widened and a crossing point relocated. Pedestrian access to nearby Colleges and Departments will also be improved.