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£54 million building project to start at The University of Bath

Builders have started work on a £54 million project for two new academic buildings at The University of Bath.

shutterstock 147502061 

The two new facilities will be for the Department of Psychology which was recently rated as number on in the UK for student satisfaction, and the Faculty of Engineering and Design.

The university’s teaching facilities are currently housed in separate buildings.

The new building for the Department of Psychology on the west side of the campus, will allow room for both facilities under one roof, and will also house the university’s Institute for Policy Research.

A second building, on the south side of the campus, will provide more teaching space for the Faculty of Engineering and Design, as well as additional computer facilities.

The two new buildings are the result of a £54 million investment by the university, taking recent investment in the campus to over £150 million.

Vice-Chancellor Dame Glynis Breakwell said:

“I am delighted to see work start. The new buildings will offer a fantastic setting for both our teaching and research.

“This will further enhance our teaching, which was rated as the best in the UK for student satisfaction in the recent National Student Survey, and help us to grow our international reputation for research excellence.”

The expansion of university campuses

According to a survey which reflects the increasing competition amongst the UK’s institutions to attract prospective students, four out of five university finance directors are planning substantial increases in capital expenditure over the next year to fund new facilities.


More than half the respondents in the poll also forecast an increase in bank borrowing to fund the building work, which ranges from laboratories and libraries to entirely new campuses.


The report which was conducted by the Russell Group indicated that its leading corps of 24 research-focused universities are expected to spend more than £9bn on new teaching facilities, accommodation and IT infrastructure during the next three years.


The push to modernise old faculty buildings and develop branch campuses reflects the potential expansion of the higher education sector following the chancellor’s announcement last Autumn that he would abolish the limit on student places.


The increase in tuition fees two years ago to £9,000 a year has given rise to more demands by student leaving school with regards to the quality of teaching and research facilities provided by UK universities.


Julie Mercer, head of education consulting at Deloitte, said the higher education sector was “starting to recognise that the world has changed, that they need to be slightly more sophisticated maybe in the way that they manage their business and plan for the future”.


“[Finance directors] are all focusing on growing their student numbers and investing in projects that would enhance teaching and learning,” Ms Mercer says. “What they are recognising is, if I want to attract more students I need to have a really good offer”.


One of the leading projects currently under way is Swansea University’s new £450m, 65-acre campus which is being built on a former petrochemicals site in Neath Port Talbot. The “Bay campus”, set to open next year, will provide student accommodation and research space with direct access to the beach looking on to a “seafront promenade”.


A growing number of universities in the UK’s regions are also opening campuses in London in order to attract foreign students who want access to the capital’s airports and shopping facilities. So far the universities of Cumbria, Glasgow Caledonian and Ulster and Liverpool have all opened branches.

In order to fund capital projects such as these, 57 per cent of the finance directors surveyed by Deloitte forecast an increase in bank borrowing, and 51 per cent said they were planning a bond issuance.



Financial Times

Bath Chronical


About Quest Interiors

Quest Interiors are commercial interior refurbishment specialistswith an unrivalled reputation in the public and private sectors.  Quest Interiors are known for their expertise in fulfilling complex and logistically difficult contracts in the following sectors:

  • Healthcare Estates
  • Operating Theatres & Procedure Suites
  • Schools & Further Education Estates
  • Laboratories & Specialist Research Facilities
  • Office & Commercial Estates
  • High End Residential Developments

Services include:

  • Brief Development
  • Environment & Sustainable Design
  • General Arrangement Plans
  • Design Development
  • Budget Control
  • Design & Build
  • Specialist Refurbishment Works
  • Specialist Interior Works
  • Complete After Care (FM Small Works)





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Guest Monday, 09 December 2019