We are pleased to announce the start of building works on our new £22 million state-of-the-art expansion, due to be completed by summer 2018. This new build is the biggest capital investment that the College has ever embarked upon and has been two years in development.
The expansion marks the start of an exciting journey for the College, with plans in place to become the only specialist arts university in the North of England.
The project is being developed on the current car park area at Blenheim Walk, creating a five storey building, 6,000 square metres in size using a bespoke design drawn up with architects DLA Design. It will accommodate purpose-built art, design and performance facilities for increased student numbers and new courses.
Our current Blenheim Walk campus has reached capacity so the new building will ensure that we can grow to meet demand for places and the future expectations of students. Some of the higher education and postgraduate courses currently taught at the Blenheim Walk campus will move across to the new facility. In addition, the new building will allow us to create a more diverse mix of courses including the introduction of BA (Hons) Filmmaking and BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance in 2018.
Specialist facilities will include a 230 seat auditorium, music, film and photography studios, and a larger specialist arts library. There will also be an open plan atrium-style entrance with a public exhibition gallery and coffee shop, together with an enterprise centre which will also allow us to engage more fully with regional businesses, and the local and wider communities of Leeds, as part of our employability agenda for students and alumni. The building will have many sustainability features including solar energy panels and an urban roof garden.
Professor Simone Wonnacott, Principal, Leeds College of Art said:
“This year promises to be just as exciting for the College as our 170th anniversary last year. As we move forward with our purpose-built expansion, and add new courses to our portfolio, we will attract more students to the city offering them a greater diverse mix of creative courses. Our new build project coincides with our application to become a university, which will see the College becoming the only specialist arts university in the North of England, which we hope to make an announcement about later in the year.”
To read the full press release about the new build, please click here