Sheffield Hallam University to spend more than Â£220 million transforming city centre campus with 15-year masterplan
Sheffield Hallam University is to spend more than Â£220 million transforming its city centre campus with new developments set out in a 15-year masterplan.
Described by the university's vice-chancellor Professor Chris Husbands as a 'bold vision for the long-term future', the blueprint proposes a series of new buildings and a refurbished students' union, standing beside a landscaped green.
The ambition is for Hallam to become the world's leading applied university - an institution that offers teaching with a practical purpose for specific jobs and careers - as competition to recruit students increases.
The first phase of the masterplan will cost around £220m, and is to be delivered over the next five years. It includes new buildings for the business school and social sciences, as well as a revamp for the students' union, known as the HUBS and housed in four distinctive stainless steel drums originally created for the ill-fated National Centre for Popular Music.
The proposals follow the completion in 2016 of a £30m facility on Charles Street accommodating most of the university's teacher training department, and the Institute of Arts at the former Head Post Office in Fitzalan Square. Later this year the £15m Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, run by Hallam, is expected to open at the Olympic Legacy Park on the old Don Valley Stadium site.
Artist's impressions indicate the Science Park on Howard Street - along with an adjacent car park well-used by customers at nearby cafés and the Showroom cinema - would be replaced by fresh buildings. Other places in the Cultural Industries Quarter such as Silversmiths restaurant, The Globe pub and the Sellers Wheel complex are unaffected.
A 'university green' with trees, lawns and seating will be laid out between the new blocks, and drawings suggest Pinball Square - a reference to how it was shaped - would also be spruced up next to the union off Paternoster Row.
Later phases will involve the refurbishment and redevelopment of the university's existing premises alongside further new buildings, all designed to provide 'flexibility' to meet the needs of different groups of students.
Prof Husbands said the work would open up the campus to more visitors.
"We are uniquely placed at the heart of the city to contribute to its vibrancy and reputation and we want to encourage everyone, not just our staff and students, to enjoy our campus by creating attractive public spaces. In a shifting and highly competitive landscape students expect exceptional teaching, in an outstanding environment with increased opportunities. Meeting these expectations will demand imagination, as competition – locally, nationally and globally – increases, and resources tighten. The campus masterplan will provide the foundation and infrastructure required to deliver our ambition."
He added: "This is a bold vision for the long-term future of the university‘s estate which will enhance the presence and profile of the university at the heart of the city region and support its wider regeneration and development. We want to create an exceptional environment in which to learn and work and a welcoming and inclusive environment for visitors to Sheffield."
Sheffield Hallam University has more than 31,500 students. It says 96 per cent of young people studying there full-time are from state schools and colleges, with 41 per cent coming from low income backgrounds. Hallam is one of the country's largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity programmes, and also runs the UK’s biggest modern business school.