April 2024

University College Birmingham announces expansion plans and continues City Centre-focused investment 

By Rebecca Hollington

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Photo credit: Baskerville House

University College Birmingham will be acquiring 45,000 square feet of space at the Grade II listed Baskerville House in the City Centre to locate its student support and student employability services, including a library and quiet learning spaces, and several professional services functions.

As part of the investment, the University will also establish a meetings and events space to support local businesses, employers and industry partners in the heart of the city. 

The University has grown significantly over the last three years, through curriculum development and diversification, and a key priority in its plans for growth has been enhancing the student experience with facilities that can better prepare learners for their future careers, whilst ensuring employers benefit from graduates who can transition from training to the workplace with ease.

The investment in Baskerville House will enable the University to meet further growth demand by extensively repurposing its existing Link Building at the City Centre campus to house the new School of Psychology, Sport and Education, which opens its doors for students from September 2024, and to create additional teaching and learning facilities to accommodate continued growth across its course portfolio.

Located in the historic and spectacular Centenary Square, which is synonymous with Birmingham achieving city status in the 19th century, Baskerville House is one of the true landmarks of the city. Located a few minutes’ walk from Grand Central and New Street station in the exciting redevelopment of Paradise and Centenary Square, the building is at the epicentre of the city’s business community. The location also benefits from the ongoing development to transport infrastructure in the city with phase 2 of the West Midlands Metro Extension connecting Grand Central to Edgbaston via Centenary Square. Centenary Square is also home to the iconic Library of Birmingham, the International Convention Centre, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Symphony Hall, where the University’s graduation ceremonies are traditionally held.

Vice Chancellor and Principal Professor Michael Harkin said,

”The University has a proud history of investing in the City Centre to provide first class buildings and facilities for students, with close to £200 million spent in the last ten years. Working with our partners, we are committed to providing excellent opportunities for students and for stakeholders in the region and our most recent investments and newly announced plans for further expansion reinforces this commitment.

"Most recently, in December 2023, we completed a £23 million redevelopment of the former James Cond printworks, to create the Centre for Sustainable Construction and have enrolled over 400 construction students to establish what is already our biggest Further Education Department; our brand new £6 million Sixth Form Centre development in our Camden House building is now complete and, we look forward to welcoming our first cohort of Sixth formers in September 2024.

"Despite the freeze on undergraduate tuition fees for over six years and huge economic pressures, we have achieved our development aspirations in a cost effective and secure manner, without the need for external financial investment. Our move to the flagship Baskerville House places the University right at the heart of the City Centre, further strengthening our ability to serve the people of Birmingham, its businesses and employers, as well as providing our students with the outstanding support services they deserve in a world class setting.”

Find out more about University College Birmingham's state-of-the-art facilities and campus, as well as its entire course portfolio.

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