University of Leicester plans £14m conference facility

The University of Leicester has announced a
£14m project to transform a Grade II Listed building into a residential
conference venue.

The University is planning to transform the
five-acre former College Hall site in Knighton, which has not been used since
2005, into a 117 ensuite bedroom conference facility with breakout rooms,
dining facilities and 150-seat lecture theatre.

The centre, subject to planning permission
being granted, will be designed by Associated Architects of Birmingham.

The new venue will mean that the University
will be able to offer, for the first time, an all-year round conference
facility.

The University has invested £50m in the
last three years and anticipates a furtgher capital investment programme of
over £200m over the next few years.

Grant Charman, Deputy Director of Estates,
says the new planned development will breathe new life into a building that was
completed in 1960.

Charman said: “The Hall has been closed
since 2005 and presents a difficult issue for the University in terms of how
best to use the asset. Redevelopment is not straightforward due to the Listed
building status, and we will work closely with the planners and English
Heritage to bring the building back into use in a sympathetic way.”

“A key aim of the development is to create
a centre which allows the University to work in partnership with business and
industry as set out in the University’s Strategic Vision to 2015,” says Charman.

“The centre would also take additional
bookings such as weddings and other celebrations to supplement
conferences and provide a valuable asset for community use. We have
already held a public consultation exercise and have received positive written
and verbal feedback.”

Any conference-related news? Email pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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