Liverpool John Moores University has received a £60m funding line from Barclays. The money is part of an investment totalling £180m by the university as part of its 10 year plan. The funding will help pay for new university buildings and the refurbishment of some existing ones.
Denise Stewart, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Finance at John Moores University, said: “We’ve completely rescaled the Aldham Robarts and Avril Robarts Learning Resource Centres. We’ve been doing lots of refurbishment work around the university. As students you should be seeing a sort of gradually improving environment.”
Over the last 18 months John Moores has seen the addition of two completely new buildings. The building of the Art & Design Academy, costing nearly £25m, and the Tom Reilly building, home to LJMU Life Sciences, also costing around £25m, has given students a far higher standard of facilities.
Work is scheduled to begin on the new £35m Clarence Street building, set to house the Liverpool Screen School, Business and Law, Media Arts and Social Sciences. Denise Stewart said: “When the Clarence Street Building is finished that will be the last major build in this project. We’re well over halfway through the ten year development plan and it’s going well, we’re delivering.”
Many of the university’s existing buildings have seen refurbishment; the Byrom Street site suffered from leaks and was particularly noisy according to students. Denise Stewart said: “It used to leak, but now it’s insulated which has had a massive impact on the carbon footprint, and the students can hear what’s going on inside.”
With the current economic problems, attracting big investors has become more difficult. Michael Brown, Vice-Chancellor of the university, highlighted the importance of securing investment. He said: “Even in short-term difficult financial circumstances, investment decisions must be taken to deliver efficiencies and to secure future success, given that such investments are made and serviced over a period of more than 20 years.”
With the government cutting funding to all universities, John Moores will welcome the investment from Barclays. Paul Levet, Relationship Director for the Education Sector at Barclays, said: “As part of our commitment to the education sector, we have provided a flexible finance facility, enabling the University to manage their campus improvements without concerns over property sales and with specialised treasury advice to help manage future rate risks.”
By Richard Ellis
The planned Clarence Street Building and Tom Reilly Building will both be paid for using the new funding