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Durham University News

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MEETING POSTPONED: Durham University invites residents to help shape future growth

(7 February 2018)

Due to adverse weather conditions, Durham University regrets that it has been necessary to postpone the ‘University and City: Growing together’ community engagement event, which had been scheduled for Friday 2 March at 4.30pm at Durham Town Hall. This decision was not taken lightly, and was reached on safety grounds following close consultation with Durham County Council and Durham Police. The University remains committed to dialogue with our local communities and we will announce a new date for the event as soon as possible.

Durham University is inviting staff, students, residents, businesses and organisations to help shape its future growth.

In 2017, the University published its University Strategy, 2017-2027, which aims to ensure it continues to deliver world-leading research, education and wider student experience.

Under this Strategy, the University is growing its research capacity by recruiting an extra 330 academic staff; expanding its student population by up to 4,000, to a maximum of 21,500; and relocating Colleges and academic departments from Queen’s Campus in Stockton-on-Tees to Durham City.

The University is also developing new Colleges, so that over 50% of students live in College accommodation; and making major investments in student and community facilities, including Maiden Castle sports park.

Positive environment

The University is rooted in its local communities, and is keen to work with residents, Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary, local businesses and other partners to ensure there is a positive environment for all who live and work in Durham.

As part of this commitment, the University – supported by Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary and the City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods – is hosting a community engagement event.

Growing together

The event, titled ‘University and City: Growing together’, will be held in Durham Town Hall, Durham Market Place, DH1 3NJ, on Friday 2 March, from 4.30pm to 7pm. Refreshments will be served from 4.30pm and the event will start at 5pm.

There will be presentations by Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University; Terry Collins, Chief Executive of Durham County Council; Dave Orford, Assistant Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary; and Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods.

There will then follow round-table discussion, focusing on the themes of economic regeneration, cultural engagement, citizenship, transport and highways, sustainable communities, housing and accommodation and the built environment.

The event follows a number of steps the University has taken to support its local communities, including:

  • The establishment of a Task Force and appointment of a full-time Community Liaison Officer, focused on partnership with local partners and residents;
  • Match-funding, with Durham Constabulary, a uniformed police presence;
  • Ongoing part-funding, with Durham County Council, of a Neighbourhood Warden, focused on improving the quality of life for Durham City residents by reducing anti-social behaviour and fear of crime;
  • Ongoing engagement with the Durham University Residents’ Forum, work which was shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community award at the 2017 Times Higher Education Awards; and
  • Supporting University staff and students to dedicate over 25,000 hours a year to volunteering for charities and good causes.

Shared benefits

Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, Durham University, said: “Durham is a University rooted in our local communities. We are proud of the positive contribution we make to Durham City, economically, culturally, socially and through our world-leading research.

“As a world top 100 university, we operate in an increasingly competitive, global environment and we need to grow and develop to ensure our long-term sustainability and continued success.

“We want to do this in a way that benefits everyone in our great city and region, and I would invite all with an interest in the future of Durham to engage with us. The University and City: Growing together event is one opportunity to do that.”

Event details

The University and City: Growing together event is open to all, subject to the capacity of the venue. Guests are advised to arrive early to ensure entry.

Residents unable to attend the event can email comments and suggestions to: university.strategy@durham.ac.uk

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