Bournemouth: University unveils £38m STEM facilities

Bournemouth University (BU) has announced a major £38 million investment in state-of-the art facilities for the country’s future scientists, innovators, engineers and mathematicians.

One of the region’s biggest contributors to the local economy, BU is aiming to further strengthen its impact both locally and globally by developing a new academic building for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) research and teaching.

This new building will be built alongside and complement the new Poole Gateway Building at Talbot Campus, which is near completion. The Poole Gateway Building features state-of-the-art video studios, animation suites and sound production facilities.

Before submitting its plans to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, BU has launched a four-week engagement period.

A public exhibition giving more details about the plans will be held on 12 June at Talbot Campus.

Artist’s impression showing proposal for a new Gateway building at Bournemouth University

Vice-chancellor John Vinney said: “Our aspiration is to be recognised world-wide as a leading university for inspiring learning, advancing knowledge and enriching society.

“BU’s research shapes and changes the world, providing solutions to real-world problems – with 96% of BU research rated as internationally recognised or higher and 18% ranked as world-leading.

“To ensure we continue to attract high calibre staff and students and deliver world class research for years to come, BU needs to invest in new facilities to remain competitive.

“This is a major investment in STEM and will support the continued transformation of our estate, while enabling modest staff and student growth at Talbot Campus.”

BU will have invested around £350m in its academic environment by 2025, with more than £200m already committed to the development of its estates.

Since 2015 BU has delivered five major new buildings: The Student Centre, BU International College, The Fusion Building, Poole Gateway Building (due to open January 2020) and Bournemouth Gateway Building (due to open summer 2020).

Infrastructure work to support the Poole Gateway Building also included a new link road off Boundary Roundabout and a new bus hub to reduce the number of buses on the busy Fern Barrow.

This proposed new academic building for STEM will be of similar size and appearance to the Poole Gateway Building on Gillett Road, which is currently being developed and will support teaching and research for BU’s Faculty of Science and Technology.

It will include specialist spaces such as computing and psychology laboratories and office accommodation, plus a lecture theatre, seminar rooms and flexible research facilities for use by all staff and students.

Alongside these plans BU, which last month was ranked the 55th best university in the world by THE University Impact Rankings for sustainable measures, is refreshing its Travel Plan to further reduce the impact staff and students have on the local road network.

Since its first Travel Plan was introduced in 2003 the number of BU staff travelling by car on their own has been reduced from 67% to 46% and for students 15% to 6%. UNIBUS journeys have also increased from 400,000 in 2012/13 to more than a million in 2017/18.

BU is aiming, through its updated Travel Plan, to reduce staff parking by a further 10% and student parking by 44%.

People can view BU’s proposals for its new academic building at a public exhibition on June 12, 4-8pm, at Talbot House, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB.