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Space centre planned as part of university revamp

Space centre planned as part of university revamp

Leicester University is set for a £500 million campus revamp, which may include the construction of a new space park. 

The redevelopment plan, which would unfold over a ten-year period, would see the demolition of the existing accommodation blocks at Freeman's Common, with new student housing going up in their place. The Mary Gee accommodation blocks will also be demolished and replaced. 

In addition, there will be a new multi-use teaching and learning block and a multi-storey car park, while the Victorian Brookfield House and its auxiliary buildings will be refurbished and work to complete the redevelopment of the Percy Gee Building - which houses the student union - will be completed.  

One of the most significant developments is likely to be the proposed space park, which would be located next to the existing National Space Centre and could act as a meeting point for the space industry and academic research. 

Commenting on the plans, director of estates and campus services at the university Brita Sread said: "We're committed to improving the quality of experience for all those who use our facilities, be they students, staff or the public.

"The university has invested significantly in its estate - we have built our new Centre for Medicine and recently completed our Engineering Roof project, which had a combined cost of over £60 million."

She concluded that investment in the campus estate is "vital" to ensure the university retains its current high status. 

The university's National Space Centre is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Located in the Michael Atiyah Building, it first opened in 1998 and was expanded further in 2003 and 2011. 

Its programme is focused on the development of sensors and optics for space probes, the development of engineering capability in space and planetary science, which is designed to devise new tools and materials for acquiring and analysing materials from other planets.

Image: iStock

 

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