[ncpm] SHU declares its hand...

  • From: "Bill Best" <billbest@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 16:02:25 +0000

I have a copy of the memo that Diana Green circulated this morning.

It's meaning is self-evident: we must step up the "Pride In Sheffield" 

Do send letters, emails and faxes to the relevant people.  Do volunteer for 
helping with the campaign.  Do talk to your friends, neighbours, family and 
work colleagues about this.

We have a chance of preventing this going through if, and only if, we all do 
something about it.


-----Original Message-----
From: Green, Diana
Sent: 23 October 2002 10:00
Subject: VCs Bulletin No 15: Relocation of School of Cultural Studies

Board of Governors decides to invest £17m in relocating Cultural Studies to 
the City Centre

I am writing to let you know about one of the decisions made by the
University's Board of Governors at its meeting on 22 October
2002.  The decision is a vote of confidence in the School and the


The School of Cultural Studies is one of the University's star performers.  
It is a major international centre of research and
teaching excellence.  It has been described as "the Royal College of Art in 
the North" and is involved in a developing partnership with the
Royal College and other premier centres of the creative arts in the UK.  In 
the recent Research Assessment Exercise, it secured a top rating
of 5 for both Art and Design and History and an excellent grade of 4 for
English.  It is one of the leading centres in the University in
respect of the commercialisation of research.  In the past four years,
commercial and public organisations have provided over £1m worth of
funding to support Art and Design research.  Students of the School in the 
jewellery area are currently competing to design a new mace for
the University, sponsored by the Sheffield Assay Office and celebrating the 
University's 10th Anniversary.

The School also has an excellent teaching record.  It had one of the first 
nationally recognised teaching Fellows (Professor Peter
Hartley).  It has over 2000 full-time students, 500 part-time students and 
nearly 100 research students and over 100 academic staff.

The School is currently split between two of the University's campuses,
Collegiate Crescent and Psalter Lane.  The campus at Psalter Lane is 
geographically isolated from the rest of the University and the
facilities are the poorest in the University's current portfolio of
buildings.  Staff have rightly complained over many years of the extent to 
which this strains their ability to deliver a first class
educational experience to their students.  In the last year, staff have
written frequently to me, asking me to make the Board of Governors
aware of their concerns.  I have done so.

The decision

At its meeting on 10 July, 2001, the Board of Governors considered the case 
for tackling this issue and finding a new and more appropriate home for the 
School. They agreed, in principle, to the relocation and charged me with 
conducting a review of fully costed relocation options.  These were 
considered by the Finance and Employment
Committee at its meeting on 28 September and the full Board at its
meeting on 22 October 2002.

Acknowledging that the existing facilities at Psalter Lane can no longer
realistically meet staff and student needs, the University's Governors also 
discussed the significant opportunities that a city centre base will offer.  
Relocating the School to a city centre site offers both a strategic 
opportunity for the University and a substantial contribution to the 
regeneration of "creative Sheffield".  It also opens up exciting new 
possibilities for closer collaboration between the School and other Schools 
on the City campus, and the opportunity of capitalising on the University's 
creative arts, science and technological expertise.

The proposed location

We hope to use the site, currently occupied by the Students Union, to
create a new landmark building opposite Sheffield's railway station.  This 
puts the School, like the University, at the heart of the city and supports 
the City Council's proposal to transform this major gateway to the city.  It 
will also contribute to the further development of a "cultural and creative 
corridor" in the Sheaf valley, linking the Cultural Industries Quarter to 
the proposed e-Campus.

This means finding a new home for our Students Union.  In order to progress 
the proposed development, the Board of Governors has asked me to open 
negotiations with Yorkshire Forward for the acquisition of
the building which housed the former National Centre of Popular Music (NCPM) 
to provide them with a new home.  The Union have responded
positively to this proposal and the Union's President, Ben Shenton,
has said that it will offer the Union an exciting opportunity that may also 
ensure that the NCPM building continues to play a role in
Sheffield's provision of live music.

Should negotiations over the acquisition not be successful, an alternative 
will be found.

The decision to invest in this new building is the largest single
investment made by the University in its buildings since the
Stoddart building, opened in 1998.  It underlines the confidence of the
Board in the University's future success.

Professor Diana Green

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