Leeds Arts University reaches construction milestone

6 February 2018

Leeds Arts University reaches construction milestone

ISG’s £14 million extension of Leeds Arts University has achieved a major construction milestone as the building’s steel frame structure reached its highest point. 

The five-storey, 63,500 sq ft extension is a key element of an ambitious masterplan by Leeds Arts University (formerly Leeds College of Art), which gained university status last year, making it the first specialist arts university in the north of England. 

The new extension will connect to the existing Blenheim Walk campus, allowing the university to expand, offer more courses and provide an enterprise centre for students.

Representatives from ISG and the university came together to mark the ‘topping out’ construction milestone in suitable style by spray-painting the university’s new logo on the building’s floor slab. 

Professor Simone Wonnacott, vice-chancellor at Leeds Arts University, said: “The ambitious plans for the expansion of our Blenheim Walk site have played a significant role in our aspirational vision for the future of Leeds Arts University. 

“It is very rewarding to see the development taking shape, at what is an exciting time for those studying at the only specialist arts university in the North of England.”

The new building will ensure the university can grow to meet demand for places and the future expectations of students, creating a more diverse mix of educational courses, including the introduction of BA (Hons) filmmaking and BMus (Hons) popular music performance.

Specialist facilities will include a 230-seat auditorium, music, film and photography studios, and an expanded specialist arts library. 

An open-plan, atrium-style entrance, with a public exhibition gallery and coffee shop, together with the enterprise centre, will enable the university to collaborate with regional businesses and the wider communities of Leeds.

The building will have many sustainable features, including solar energy panels and an urban roof garden, and is expected to achieve a high BREEAM environmental performance rating.

Tim Harvey, regional director at ISG, said: “Our universities are the envy of the world and it is by constantly innovating and creating a unique student learning experience that the sector will continue to thrive.

“Leeds Arts University has ambitious plans for the future, and I’m delighted that ISG will play a role in translating the university’s vision into reality as these new facilities start to take shape over the coming months.”