The University of Gloucestershire has today revealed its plans to invest £5 million into refurbishing its campuses in Cheltenham and Gloucester.

The investment will create additional high-quality teaching and study spaces at the University’s two Cheltenham campuses at The Park and Francis Close Hall. The £5 million investment and refurbishments are part of the University’s commitment to move activities away from the Pittville campus by autumn 2011 and to invest in modern facilities.

An ambition programme of refurbishment will create a dedicated art and design centre at the Hardwick site in St Pauls.  The existing sports hall will be renovated to provide fine art and photography studios whilst graphics and advertising courses will be delivered at Francis Close Hall in specialist design studios in the current hospitality centre and within the Centre for Active Learning on the site.

A vibrant media hub will be created in the current Students’ Union bar space at Park campus, providing an open newsroom, studios and teaching rooms; the current Park refectory will be completely refurbished to provide a social space and informal learning area including a bar and cafe.

Two of the University’s internationally-recognised research centres, The Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) and the Institute Research Institute in Sustainability (IRIS) will relocate to the Oxstalls campus in Gloucester.  Courses in health and social care, currently located at Oxstalls will move to Francis Close Hall, leisure and tourism courses will move from The Park to Oxstalls.

The University is working in partnership with the Students’ Union (SU) to improve facilities for students, and will provide SU offices and facilities at Park and on other University sites. The University has also committed a £280,000 grant to the Students’ Union, an increase of 5.5% on the last academic year.

Paul Drake, Executive Director of External Relations said:
“This is an exciting time for the University, its students and staff.  An investment of £5 million is significant and illustrates our commitment to an excellent student experience, an investment which will reshape the University for the future.

“These commitments will result in arts education in Cheltenham being strengthened and higher education growth in Gloucester.”

Work will begin on the refurbishments from September 2010. University staff and students will have the opportunity to view an exhibition with artists’ impressions of the changes on campus and online from the new term.

Source: University of Gloucestershire