£70m state-of-the-art School of Management building planned by University of Bath

March 28, 2018

The University of Bath has revealed plans for a landmark £70m School of Management building on its Claverton Campus.

The 170,000 sq ft building, which will form a new gateway to the campus, will house state-of-the-art facilities to further boost the school of management’s already UK-leading reputation. 

In a planning application submitted to Bath & North East Somerset Council this week, the university described the building, pictured above in a CGI image, as an “exciting addition to the campus”.

It added: “The proposed development will significantly enhance the gateway and arrival at the university. The landmark building has been designed functionally for engagement, education and collaboration, optimising its parkland setting, and showcase the rising academic prominence of the school and university both nationally and globally.” 

The university estimates it will deliver a £540m-plus boost to the area’s economy over 25 years and add more than £300m to its own coffers.

It will create 56 permanent jobs – both academic and professional support staff) – within the school and a further 44 across the rest of the University.    

If it receives planning consent, the university hopes to have the building open within two years – with its construction generating 115 jobs and apprentice opportunities among its contractors.

The School of Management, one of the UK’s longest-established and largest business schools, employs around 90 teaching and research staff and another 70 administrative staff, more than 200 MBA students, 370 taught master’s students, and 210 full and part-time research students plus 1,100 undergraduates. It also runs joint programmes with other university departments. But at present it is split over four buildings on the campus.

The university’s planning application says: “[The school] is a firmly established leading international centre for management research.

“Already consistently rated either 1st, 2nd or 3rd for Business and Management Studies by The Times and Complete University Guide for the past five years, and 1st for the past two years in Marketing, the School of Management has a strong national and international reputation.

“However, to respond to growing competition within university sector and to support the school’s ambition to become an international Top 50 business school, it needs to strengthen its research power and make significant investment to their existing facilities.”

The new building, which would vary in height from two to six storeys, would facilitate high-quality interaction between faculty, staff, industry and students, says the application.

It would also integrate the latest technology to enable the university to “teach differently, facilitate [its] world-class research and create greater interaction with [its] colleagues”. 

The scheme includes a new arrivals square for the campus from the main entrance on Convocation Avenue including considerable improvements to the existing bus terminal.

Part of the 3.45-hectare site, which is immediately west of the Sports Village and south-east of the newly constructed 4ES building, is on parkland outside the existing campus.

But the university’s planning agent JLL says: “The building positively embraces its relationship with the parkland and integrates this within the design providing views through and from within the building facilitating greater enjoyment and use of parkland than is currently the case.

“The building also works positively with the landscape structure optimising the natural topography of concealing large functional spaces such as the lecture and conferencing facilities at basement level and reducing the mass of the building.” 

The university has also had detailed discussions with council planners to mitigate encroachment into the parkland and has drawn up a comprehensive package of compensatory green infrastructure proposals including a campus-wide strategy for green infrastructure, landscape, trees and ecology.

UK universities are investing heavily in new buildings as they increasingly compete on the world stage. Last week the Duke of York officially opened UWE Bristol’s flagship £55m Business School building on its Frenchay Campus, which house 6,000 students and 300 staff.

The Claverton campus site was opened 1965 with around 5,000 students. Today it has more than 15,000 students and employs 3,000-plus staff.








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