University’s ‘centre of excellence’ unveiled

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PLANS for a £30million new city centre building at Sheffield Hallam University have been submitted to the council for planning permission.

If approved, the new building will be situated on the corner of Charles Street and Arundel Gate.

It will provide a home for parts of the University’s Faculty of Development and Society and will house the Sheffield Institute of Education - which brings together the university’s teacher training provision and education research and is envisaged as a ‘centre of excellence’ for the North of England.

The building will be seven storeys high in places, with several outside terraced areas.

A special ‘toast rack’ bridge designed by Corin Mellor, from Hathersage-based David Mellor Design, will connect the centre to the university’s Arundel Building.

The design of the building also includes a central walkway through Brown Lane, which will be fully enclosed by a glass atrium. The walkway will be open to the public.

Included in the development is a lecture theatre boasting 300 seats, as well as a lecture theatre, teaching rooms, learning spaces, staff spaces, a café and reception.

Mark Swales, the university’s Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “This is part of a £100 million investment in our estate over three years. It’s pivotal to improving the student experience at Sheffield Hallam and is a significant development in the heart of the city centre.

“We have worked closely with Bond Bryan architects and planners to produce a design which incorporates the heritage of the local area, but also reflects the forward-thinking values of the university.”

The new plans take into account some revisions to the design of the building after planning permission was initially approved in 2010.

After reconsidering the development and how it would be used, the university is now hopeful that revised plans will be approved by the council, in order for work to begin on the development later this year.

Completion is expected in 2015.

The university held a drop-in session on January 30, in which local residents were able to take a look at the plans and raise questions with the architects.

The Charles Street building is part of the university’s strategy to improve and develop its facilities.

Hallam hope the institute will become the leading centre for teacher education in the North.

It will house the university’s Centre for Education and Inclusion Research and the Centre for Science Education.

“It’s a fantastic new building, and the students learning there can benefit from the research that goes on,” said a university spokesman.

The plans were submitted to the council’s planning department this week, and a series of images have been drawn up showing how the building will look.

A report will be prepared for planning committee members before a final decision is made on the project.