Massive boost for student facilities

The University is investing £200 million over the next eight years to dramatically improve facilities for students.

The investment will enhance the “Edinburgh experience” by delivering an extensive range of benefits.

These include expanded and improved teaching and study spaces, a major new Student Centre, a Health & Wellbeing Centre and enhanced sports facilities.

Student Centre

The Pleasance recently reopened following a £6 million renovation with improved facilities for student societies and groups. These include a revamped Pleasance Café & Bar, new events spaces and improved disabled access.

Looking ahead, Teviot Row House – the oldest purpose-built students’ union in the world – is to be completely refurbished and made fully accessible while keeping its unique character.

It will connect by bridge with a new student services building adjacent on George Square, meaning student services from the University and the Students’ Association will be brought together for the first time.

Completing this £82 million development will be a new pedestrianised, café-lined walkway running along Charles Street Lane. This will create a completely new environment for students, staff and the public to enjoy.

Major revamp

Greatly improved facilities for the Counselling and Disability Services will be coalesced in 7 Bristo Square, following an £8.4 million revamp.

This will create a state-of-the-art Health and Wellbeing Centre across from the new Student Centre, bringing together the University Health Centre, Counselling and Disability Services and an expanded University Pharmacy in one location.

The University will also be investing a further £15 million in improving the accessibility of many buildings across its estate.

Transformation complete

The first phase of the splendid new £12 million Lister Learning & Teaching Centre is now complete and Appleton Tower has been transformed under a £25 million refurbishment that includes teaching and study spaces.

This is on top of the £3.6 million which has been spent over the past two years upgrading and refurbishing nearly 100 existing teaching spaces.

As well as the Main Library now being open round the clock, more than 350 extra study spaces have been created. Further work is planned to increase the number of study spaces centrally and across the estate.

The recently opened postgraduate accommodation at O’Shea Hall will soon be embellished with a new £7 million postgraduate centre in the Old Kirk. This will offer flexible space for postgraduates from across the university to interact, undertake group study and host social events.

Rolling out

The Media Hopper Replay lecture recording system is being rolled out across all 400 general teaching spaces over the next three years.

We have already recorded more than 6,000 lecture events in Replay and this semester students have watched almost 200,000 hours of content.

Work is now under way on the Murchison House project at King’s Buildings. This will deliver a new student-facing learning and teaching hub in 2019, integrating student services and café provision.

Sports support

More than £30 million is to be invested as part of the University’s Masterplan for Outdoor Sport.

Work has begun on new all-weather pitches at the Peffermill sports complex.

Funding has also been approved for enhancement of the University’s rowing facilities at Strathclyde Park in Lanarkshire.

Both of these are intended to offer ‘sports for all’, supporting both elite and recreational student use.

Meanwhile, the University’s first satellite gym at Easter Bush is providing students and staff with world-class facilities. Other gyms are already planned.

The University of Edinburgh is very proud of our outstanding students and their magnificent attainments in all domains of life. It is a privilege to provide our students with exceptional teaching and learning spaces, a brilliant library, as well as some of the very best social and sports facilities anywhere in the UK. I am delighted to announce this major investment of more than £200 million in our student-facing facilities. It is already transforming the student experience of our fine university and our fabulous city.

Professor Jonathan SecklVice-Principal Planning, Resources and Research Policy