University of Northampton Waterside Campus
The future campus of the University of Northampton, Waterside, continues to take shape ahead of welcoming students for the start of the 2018/19 academic year.
Purpose-built and designed to adapt to 21st century teaching, once it is completed Waterside will be a unique hub of creativity and learning on the banks of the River Nene. It will bring together all aspects of University life into one place making student life easier and more accessible.
Before work began to create the Waterside Campus, the 58 acre brownfield site on which it is located had been left derelict after previously housing a power plant and Avon cosmetics. Combining some elements left over on the site and new builds, Waterside will not only be the heart of the University but Northampton itself.
The decision to undertake this major project and relocation was first announced in 2013 with the support of council bosses. Funding for the new campus, costing an estimated £330 million, was secured a year later through a combination of financial bonds guaranteed by the Treasury and a Public Works Loan Bond alongside University cash reserves as well as money raised from the sale of existing facilities.
Designs for the academic buildings and student village were developed in 2014 and continued into 2015, with work on roads, bridges and infrastructure beginning later in the year. Last year the new campus began to really take shape with a number of significant milestones achieved. A brand new road bridge and pedestrian footbridge linking the campus and Northampton town centre was completed with construction also beginning on all the remaining academic, sport and residence buildings.
Work remains on track heading into 2017 with the student village due for completion and interior work set to begin on the academic buildings. The plan is then for finishing touches like landscaping to begin in early 2018 ahead of welcoming students in the September.
The new Waterside Campus can be divided into six elements. At the heart of the Campus will be the Learning Commons containing the majority of teaching spaces and the 24/7 library. While traditionally American style lecture theatres have been favoured by British Universities, teaching at the University of Northampton will take place classrooms and seminars rooms from September 2018 onwards.
The library will suit students wishing to work early in the morning or late at night in an environment offering all the resources needed. Catering facilities and bookable learning spaces are also included with the Learning Commons the home of the student help desk.
Similarly the Senate building will house more flexible learning spaces suitable for guest lectures, exhibitions and events. Staff and students from different subjects will be encouraged to use this space to collaborate on projects and share ideas with each other.
Promising sporting talent at the University will be able to develop in the Sports Pavilion boasting three multi-use games areas and a floodlit all-weather pitch.
Giving a nod to the history of the site on which the Campus is being built, the Student Union will be found in a grade II listed building formally used as an Engine Shed. The renovation of the shed has been made possible by a £1.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and once completed will be a hive of student activity.
Finally, the Waterside Campus will make it hard for students to justify being late for early morning lectures with the opening of the Student Village housing 1,000 beds. The village is made up of five-storey flats and four-storey townhouses with landscaped courtyards.
As well as having a positive impact on students and the Northampton public, the new Campus will also be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Power will come from an onsite energy centre using woodchip biomass and gas to heat hot water for all the buildings and student residencies.
Overall, when completed the Waterside Campus will be a ground-breaking step for the University of Northampton in an increasingly competitive market. Student life will be brought together, helping facilitate greater learning and innovative thinking.
To follow the progress of the project as construction begins to take shape, please visit http://hellowaterside.northampton.ac.uk/.