Britannia Mill Refurbishment Completed On Its Centenary
Date posted: 8 November 2012
The University celebrated one of its most special building's 100th birthday by unveiling its new look on November 2 2012.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Coyne, and Chair of the University's Governing Council, Chris Hughes, led the official opening of Britannia Mill after the completion of a five year, £6 million project, which transformed the 1912-built textile mill into a 'future-proof' contemporary learning space for hundreds of students.
Its five floors of teaching spaces, workshops, computer rooms and art studios are home to students on University degree programmes including Occupational Therapy, Social Care, Creative Expressive Therapies, Textile Design, Fine Arts and Visual Communication.
Classrooms are equipped with the latest audio-visual technology, new furniture and seating with an emphasis on flexibility for the different types of teaching taking place in the shared spaces. The library has also been completely re-designed and upgraded.
Dr Ruth Ayres, Dean of LEI, said: This opening with the virtual cutting of a ribbon seems apt for a building that we have future proofed. The improvements we have made to the learning spaces and library were done in consultation with students and staff to ensure the spaces fulfil the learning needs of our current and future students.
"I would like to thank colleagues in Estates, ITS, EHS and ADT, as well as my own teams within LEI for their extensive and collaborative work in preparing the building to welcome back students at the start of this academic year."
Chris Hughes said: "The refurbishment has made Britannia Mill a fabulous learning environment. It is now the best possible facility where our students can flourish and go on to make a real difference in their chosen careers."
Professor John Coyne added: "This is one of my favourite of the University's buildings. In 1912 it was built to produce clothes and textiles, and in 2012 it is now fashioning minds and careers by providing the very best learning spaces possible."
"For the building to have been made modern and future facing with due to respect to its heritage is splendid."
Member of Governing Council, Olivia Dean, said: "I think it makes a significant statement in the environment and looks like a positive and inspiring place to be now. It is a welcoming and uplifting space."
Mr Allan Spencer, who worked at the Mill as Production Director when it was a garment factory between 1952 and 1982, was invited back for the official opening. He said: "The building's transformation is absolutely wonderful."