University unveils plans for 'world class' social sciences building in Sheffield

The University of Sheffield has unveiled the latest stage in its ongoing ambition to transform its property portfolio across the city.

Saturday, 4th March 2017, 11:46 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:03 am
The University of Sheffield's proposed new faculty of social sciences

Planning applications have been submitted for a ‘world-class’ social sciences building and a three-storey sports centre, both in Northumberland Road, Broomhill.

If granted permission by the city council, the social science building will be put up on the site of the 3G sports pitches opposite Weston Park Hospital.

The view down Whitham Road.

The university plans to make up for the loss by installing new pitches at its campus in Norton.

The building will become the new home for the faculty of social sciences, encompassing a research hub, teaching and social spaces.

The sports centre will eventually replace the ‘ageing’ Goodwin centre on the same site. It will include a bigger and better-equipped gym space and a new swimming pool for use by students, staff and residents.

Professor Gill Valentine, vice-president and head of faculty for social sciences, said: “We are truly excited about the potential that this facility has to offer students and staff, not only in the faculty of social sciences but also across the whole university.

Inside the new building

“The faculty of social sciences is leading the way in impactful learning, teaching and research. The new facility will secure future development in these areas by bringing our students and academics together in an innovative, interdisciplinary environment.”

Social sciences is the university’s biggest faculty with more than 9,000 students.

It comprises 13 departments, several research institutes that work across subjects, and the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership, a collaboration across the social sciences at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York.

The proposed building will also provide departmental bases for the departments of economics, politics, sociological studies, the Sheffield methods institute and the faculty of social sciences office.

The proposed new sports centre

The neighbouring Elmfield Building, which currently houses the department of politics, will become the departmental home for the information school, journalism studies and the school of education, bringing them closer to the Sheffield University Management School in Conduit Road.

Construction of the new sports centre, which will face directly onto Northumberland Road, will not begin until the social sciences building is finished.

The university estimates the construction of both buildings will create about 220 jobs per year.

In total, the new building, its students and their visitors are expected to create an economic footprint for the Sheffield City Region worth £84.9 million in gross value added during its first year of operation in 2020.

The view down Whitham Road.

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Inside the new building
The proposed new sports centre