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photo by Nic Delves Broughton, University Photographer

Internal News - 05 October 2007

Changes being planned as a result of campus study

A report from the consultants Pragma, who were engaged by the University to conduct a study into how the central campus area could be made as attractive, accessible and pleasant an environment as possible, was received in July.

Over 1,000 staff, students and local residents contributed to the study, either by completing the online surveys earlier this year or by taking part in one of a number of focus groups.

The study is a key part of developing a more attractive campus environment, in which there are commercial facilities and supporting public spaces that are both interesting and relevant to the users of the University, whether they are students, staff, local residents or external visitors.

A plan for re-organising the western end of the Parade, including the new frontage on 4West, is now being developed.

Students and staff agreed that the commercial facilities need to provide greater variety at more competitive prices, with a larger supermarket and a pharmacy being the most popular suggestions for improvements to the shops on campus.

Sports equipment, music, DVDs and games were also popular requests. On catering, a wider range of healthier foods and a greater range of 'grab and go' foods were the key requests. The need for social spaces was another key demand.

The surveys also showed that students and staff agree that the Parade needs a clear information/welcome point for visitors and, as well as creating an environment that is attractive and easy to use, it should also showcase the University's academic excellence.

The views of local residents were similar to those of students and staff; they also commented most positively on the quality of the University's grounds and landscaping.

The Sports Training Village was rated the highest for quality of the built environment. Changes being considered there involve moving the main reception from the entrance area to adjacent to the entrance to the fitness centre, thereby freeing up the entrance area for other possible uses.

Moving the main reception would also mean users of the Blues Café would no longer need to pass through the entry turnstiles.