Executive Summary

READ: Estates Strategy Annual Report 2023

Huge advances in mobilisation have been made in the first year of the approved Estates Strategy. A new delivery team has been recruited, the question of the future location for the School of Art, Architecture and Design has been answered, the masterplan was updated and intensive planning work is underway to ensure that disruption to core University activities is minimised as construction develops.

A system of oversight and governance, chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, has been successfully established for both the delivery of the Estates Strategy and the Carbon and Environmental Management Plan.

There are currently sufficient resources for the delivery of the programme of approved projects and initiatives, although some of these have slowed slightly as the team and processes have been developed and recruitment of appropriate skills continues to represent a key risk for the foreseeable future.

Progress against 11 of the Estates Strategy’s fourteen key performance indicators is at or exceeding target for the first year of operation. Areas of particularly high performance include Functional Suitability and Carbon Emissions Reduction. Performance has been slightly below target for Building Condition, as the existing infrastructure deteriorates more quickly than the benefits of investments can be realised. However, mitigation plans are in place and continued availability of facilities has been maintained.

10 substantive Estates Strategy projects have been approved and commenced with physical delivery anticipated over the next two years; the first of those to complete will be the Nursing Simulation Centre which will be ready for the commencement of teaching in September 2023.

In period, an options appraisal was completed and the new locations for the School of Art, Architecture and Design (AAD) was approved at the Board of Governors in January 2023.

As a result of developments in the University, the masterplan arrangement (appendix A) has also been updated and approved at the Estates Strategy Steering Group in order to include Nursing, the School of the Built Environment and AAD’s presence at Goulston Street, Accelerator Building and Holloway Road.

Scenario modelling for the future sequencing of projects is currently underway via three planned iterations to ensure that delivery meets the new and emerging priorities. Each iteration will be generated as further insight is gained through exploratory planning and works. The final iteration is expected to be completed in September 2023 and will give a framework for the delivery of the remainder of the programme. This sequencing consideration will be undertaken simultaneously with the delivery of current projects and will not slow overall completion of the Estates Strategy by 2031.

The reduction in carbon emissions appear to be three years ahead of plan and, whilst advances have been made in control of energy, the emissions figures do also reflect periods of campus inactivity as a result of COVID lockdowns and transition back to campus.

The full carbon saving effects of major investment in infrastructure are not expected to accrue until FY25/26, although £1.75 million of interventions are planned for the next financial year with an expected carbon saving of approximately 250 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).

An updated strategy cost estimation suggests an increase in funding will be required from £150 million when assessed in March 2022 to £182 million when assessed in March 2023, excluding inflation. The main drivers for the increase are new projects (£16.5m) and inflation to date (£22m.) This reported growth in costs does not take account of cost mitigation activities and opportunities for future capital funding grants.

The projected total Estates-related capital budget for financial year 2023/24 is £34 million. Approximately £9 million of the total sum will be expended on completing already started projects, with approximately £16 million spent on new projects that move the University forward, and the remaining £9 million will be spent on backlog