Castle Meadow Campus development reaches next phase

March 28th, 2023

Following approval by University Council on 21 March 2023, the university will proceed to the next phase of preparing the Castle Meadow Campus to deliver teaching, research and partnership activity at an exciting new city centre location.

The next three years will see a series of design phases to convert the site’s buildings and landscape and fully realise the vision for Castle Meadow Campus (CMC) as an enterprise campus and gateway into the city.

The Castle Meadow project team led by programme director Jason Phoenix has now completed phase one to define the uses for the campus together with a costed business case for the future occupation of the seven buildings on the site. The three core uses for CMC have been identified as:

  • from late 2023, a home for Digital Nottingham providing a civic, research and innovation hub that will bring together researchers, businesses and communities to connect digital and data knowledge, skills and technologies to people and place-based challenges.
  • phasing in from 2025, a new city centre location for Nottingham University Business School to conduct teaching, research and partnership activity, enabling it to grow its postgraduate offer and increase collaboration with strategic partners.
  • ​From 2025, a dynamic practice-orientated campus for postgraduate students creating an ecosystem of employers and students to work and learn together, ultimately preparing our students for life after university.

Castle Meadow Campus enables the university to accelerate existing plans to improve teaching and research space for staff, deliver our civic mission and make dedicated provision for professional practice-based courses – more quickly, more sustainably and at a lower cost than was originally planned.

It enhances opportunities for collaboration with local business, industry and small businesses, making it easier for partners to engage with us and develop long-term, mutually beneficial relationships, and make a positive difference for the city, whilst offering the very best of facilities for staff and students.

Phase 2 developments

The university is now moving into phase two of the programme which will take place from April 2023 to September 2024 and will see the appointment of designers and contractors for the required building work.

In late 2023, leading global accountancy firm KPMG will take up the first of what will be a number of long-term leases to co-locate with the university and collaborate with us as industry partners.

From Spring 2024, working with University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP), the site will offer incubation spaces to give students, academic entrepreneurs and local businesses an opportunity to mix and grow and learning alongside each other. The main campus welcome point will open in the Summer of 2024, consisting of catering facilities and multi-use meeting and event spaces.

Phase three of the programme is expected to begin in October 2024 as it works towards occupancy of the remaining buildings – submissions for this phase will then go to Council for further approval later this year.

A strategic vision

Expanding on the university’s strategic vision to be a university without borders, Castle Meadow Campus will be configured to create porous boundaries and opportunities for collaboration within and without the institution.

It will deliver the potential for us to do things differently: creating a real appetite for enterprise and creativity and supporting an educational eco-system that is both ambitious and distinctive from our existing campuses.

By placing staff and students at the heart of its design and exploring the curriculum through the knowledge and skills that it will provide, our teaching will determine campus space requirements rather than space determining teaching approaches.

Focusing on practical and postgraduate skills provision, and combining theory with practice through collaboration with prestigious companies aligned to our values, the campus will provide a springboard for graduates into business, management and financial industries whilst pioneering entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability.

Castle Meadow Campus will also be a catalyst for an Innovation District in the centre of Nottingham, helping to drive forward our civic agenda. In co-locating university research and skills provision together with business and industry, we will collaborate to tackle societal challenges, grow exciting new fields in for example artificial intelligence, data science and financial technologies that will deliver lasting benefit for the city-region’s economy and sustainable growth prospects.

Find out more about Castle Meadow

The Castle Meadow project team is preparing a range of engagement activities to commence in the summer term where staff will have the opportunity to visit the campus and see how the next phase of the development is progressing.

In the meantime, CMC Programme Director, Jason Phoenix, reflects over the past six months of the programme in a blog and explains just what it took to get the university to this important milestone.

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