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Maindy Park Campus: Gateway Building

14 July 2009

Cardiff University Logo

A statement from Professor Malcolm Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Estates, and Professor Teresa Rees, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research

The ‘Gateway Building’ is a key part of Cardiff’s plans to establish itself in the forefront of the world’s universities. It will bring many benefits for staff, including purpose-built facilities for cutting-edge research and space for greater public involvement in our work.

The proposed building is part of the ambitious Campus Horizons investment strategy to transform the working environment throughout the University estate. Other developments include the planned new Medical Education Centre on the Heath Park Campus and substantial investment in Information and Communications Technology through the Modern Working Environment initiative.

A centrepiece of Campus Horizons will be the development of University-owned land at Maindy Road to create a new campus. This will be named Maindy Park, echoing the other University sites at Cathays Park and Heath Park. This involves development of several high-quality buildings and of the space surrounding those buildings, phased over ten to fifteen years. The ‘Gateway Building’ will be the first of these.

The Building will have many uses. It will be a focal point for collaboration by all of the University’s schools. It will encourage the launch of new research ventures. It will provide impressive venues where our research can be showcased to the public, business and other partners.

Key features will include:

  • A striking central atrium for public exhibitions and demonstrations of University research
  • Impressive conference facilities, including a lecture theatre, for meetings with research partners, funders and high-profile visitors
  • Highly sophisticated laboratories and associated write-up space
  • "Incubator" space to encourage the growth of pioneering new research ventures, as well as permanent space to house established research centres
  • Advanced information support services for the research community
  • Facilities for postgraduate researchers
  • Meeting and interaction space, with a principal aim of promoting interdisciplinary collaboration
  • A pleasant setting, catering facilities, and sustainable design, contributing to a high quality working environment and setting the high quality standard for the rest of the campus

The building would be set opposite the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, creating a "front door" for the entire campus. It would be around 10,000 square metres in size, which is slightly larger than the Optometry Building. The internal and external design will be developed in consultation with University staff and students, the local community, and the planning authority. It is hoped the Building will be completed by early 2012.

The overall cost of the development will be around £30m. While the current economic climate is clearly difficult, the University is committed to a long-term strategy as a world leader in research. This investment will help secure its research future well into the 21st Century. The development itself will bring considerable investment employment benefits to the Cardiff region. The University has also secured around £14M research funding from the UK Government which must be spent on capital projects within the next few years, or there is a risk of not securing further funding in the future.

The Gateway Building will be a prestigious, sustainable and architecturally impressive building. It will enable new and exciting research projects. It will encourage new ways of working. Above all, it will be an open door, allowing the public to learn more about us and to engage with our work.