University takes ownership of Castle Meadow Campus


November 22nd, 2022

Work is underway to prepare Castle Meadow Campus for staff and students as the university officially takes ownership of the estate.

The new city centre campus, which sits at the foot of the historic Nottingham castle and encompasses seven buildings and 32,500 square metres of space, is intended to help the university realise its civic ambitions while also creating a professionally oriented nucleus for academic staff, students and business.

Over the past months staff across the university have been working to gather feedback and ideas for the campus across a number of strategic themes. More recently the governance team has evolved with Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts, Professor Jeremy Gregory, University Lead for Civic Engagement and PVC for Arts, now Chair of the Strategy and Delivery Board, Jason Phoenix Programme Director and David Hill, Chair of the Programme Management Group.

Key uses for the campus

Three core uses have now been agreed by the Strategy and Delivery Board and are being progressed.

  • 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. The move is expected to take a phased approach from 2025.
  • from summer of 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.
  • a 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. This is expected to take place from 2025.

Professional co-location

In purchasing Castle Meadow Campus the university became landlords for law firm Browne Jacobson who are currently based at the site. In an exciting development professional services firm KPMG, has announced it will relocate its East Midlands office to the campus in 2023.

This co-location of industry and academia will set Nottingham apart in its offering to students who can complete a degree which bridges the gap into a professional role through placement and partnership.

For industry it offers unparalleled access to academic research, talent and expertise which can help shape their own practices and ambitions as well as creating an environment of like-minded professionals.

The campus will also provide space for new tenants so external, student and academic entrepreneurs can mix and grow their businesses alongside each other.

Our aim is to develop a business sector and ecosystem to further our RKE ambitions and stimulate a thriving community of co-located businesses to generate further prosperity for Nottingham.

Artist impression of Castle Meadow campus – click to enlarge

Further opportunities

Beyond these core uses there are further opportunities being explored to ensure we maximise use of Castle Meadow Campus to offer exceptional teaching and research, accelerate our strategic ambitions, create meaningful connections with our local communities and deliver an outstanding campus experience for our students.

Chair of the Strategy and Delivery Board Professor Gregory said: “We are clear that Castle Meadow Campus has a business-orientated identity in its teaching and research and that this enables the generation of new partnerships and collaborations and there are still many opportunities yet to be explored.

“We have had many exciting ideas from staff about how we could use this excellent site creatively and innovatively, including opportunities to display some of our fascinating relics such as the blackboard that Albert Einstein used. Digital Nottingham will also give us that first insight into how we will use the campus to better serve the city through partnership, developing digital projects that inspire collaboration, curiosity and problem solving, offering training in digital skills to local residents, showcasing our work in robotics, immersive technology as well as other work taking place at Innovation Park; the possibilities are endless.

“The proximity to the City Centre opens so many opportunities to deliver a meaningful civic relationship and something that local residents deserve and need. We will continue to build on these suggestions, and keep our community updated as our new campus takes shape.”

Estate and amenities

The Castle Meadow development was designed by Hopkins Architects and was thought to be ahead of its time when it was constructed in the early 1990s, as it integrated a wide range of sustainable measures that were innovative for the period.

Reusing these buildings, even after adaptation, means that the CO2 expended will be a fraction of that from a new building and significantly below the targets now set by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and helps the university meet its sustainability ambitions and the city’s goal to become net zero carbon by 2028.

The university has once again appointed Hopkins to work on the redevelopment of the site. One strand of this will include reopening the vistas of the historic castle, in keeping with the initial design.

New signage has gone up around the campus as well as on the surrounding roadways. Estates teams and colleagues from Digital and Technology Services have been working to ensure internet is available and working hubs are established.

Next steps will see the planning of high-quality catering and retail facilities and amenities such as meeting rooms, changing rooms and showers, and social spaces that will enhance study and work. The site already has easy access to the train station and the cycle paths beside the Nottingham Canal, offering sustainable, accessible and safe transport routes for staff, students and visitors.

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