By 2018, a transformational redevelopment of the University of Birmingham’s campus will be complete, as the crowning glory, a dramatic green space at the heart of the historic site opens for use.
The Green Heart, as the space is known, will create a striking park, 365m long, as a focus point for the whole campus, incorporating a range of landscapes to accommodate activities from performances to meetings. It is the final piece in the redevelopment project which began in 2013 and is one part of an estimated £500 million worth of new buildings and refurbishments – the largest since the campus was created under the auspices of Sir Aston Webb in the 1900s.
This includes a £55m sports centre, incorporating a number of new facilities including the city’s first 50m swimming pool, and a state-of-the-art academic library which will contain over 60km of shelving for the University’s print collections, as well as a suite of new technologies for study and research. An entire wing of the grade two listed Aston Webb building has also been completely renovated to give students a new home within the building, as a place for them to access services and support from registration to graduation, and beyond.
Enhancing provision for our local community
Students and staff will be among the first to benefit from many of these developments but the local community will also be able to use many of the new facilities. The sports centre will be open to the community every day, and the library will incorporate a research gallery with exhibitions and displays for people to engage with, learning more about what the University does.
The construction programme, which also includes the University of Birmingham School, a High Temperature Research Centre at Ansty near Coventry and a brand new, 700-bed student residence at the Vale Village, has also supported over 500 construction jobs, around 85% of which are local to the West Midlands.