Issues in brief: The reality of the campus expansion

Student Venue, Sports facilities, the Moat lake and the Colleges

Student venue

Heslington East will in theory include the long awaited central venue. With a potential capacity of 1,000 people, events like last Saturday’s Roses Ball will finally be catered for on campus. Ominously though, the plans contain the sentence “uncertainty in planning and funding will require flexibility in the layout of the campus and the design

Sports facilities

Highlights of the proposed new sporting facilities include a swimming pool, large sports hall complex and athletics stadium. A sporting facility of “regional importance” is also promised although it is unclear what this will be, especially considering the current poor standard of regional facilities. Sporting societies such as the Swimming club will no longer have to travel off campus to practice although the funding implications for such extensive new facilities are yet to be resolved.

Moat lake

Other potential developments contained in the University’s plans are the Lake which will act as wetland habitat, flood storage facility and will be a “deterrent to inappropriate movement patterns. By adopting ‘moat like’ qualities, the lake will prevent short-cuts by students.”

Meanwhile the all year round conference facility will contain a health spa. This may come as little cheer to Derwent students luxuriating in accommodation with one shower between sixteen residents.


The new campus will retain the collegiate structure of the existing campus and will feature several new academic departments. These could include Dentistry, Law and Film and Media studies which have been assigned a place on the new campus although Geography will remain uncatered for.

The new estimated bedspace is 3,300 student rooms in a hub of new colleges, which will feature Alcuin-style facilities, but which are not designed to be affordable. The project assumes all students will remain in their campus lets.