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Home>Investing in our campus>Campus for the Future

We are continually developing our campus to give our staff, students and visitors the best experience during their time at York.

Our vision, Campus for the Future, is underpinned by the University’s masterplan principles that are centred around making excellent and inclusive places for everyone.

The principles

  • High quality research space – that inspires and facilitates great collaborative research, and attracts and retains world-leading researchers.
  • Teaching-focused learning environments – that supports our innovative approach to teaching and learning and motivates our students to achieve their best.
  • A vibrant community – that delivers a great student experience through investment in high quality social and leisure facilities and new college accommodation.
  • Sustainability and accessibility – a flexible and inclusive campus that adapts to meet future demands, is a positive contribution to the community and reduces our carbon footprint.
  • Efficiency and effectiveness – clearer branding, wayfinding and routes into and around the entire campus, and effective clustering of Departments and Support Services to provide a collaborative service.
  • Engaging vistas and routes – including high quality entry points, public spaces and eye level facades that have clear front doors and more dynamic ground floor spaces.

Phases of development

In 2018 we started a 21-year journey of developing of our campus. This is broken down into phases, with the first period of evolution lasting until 2024.

Phase 1

2018-2024 projects
  • Moving York Management School to the former Smith and Nephew building on the Science Park. The Department of Sociology will join York Law School in the former Law and Management Building.
  • Continuing the program to identify spaces for improvement to enhance the teaching, learning and research experience.
  • Exploring the opportunity for new student residences on Campus East creating around 1,400 new beds with integrated spaces to meet the study, social, catering and community needs of students.
  • Exploring how people travel to and around campus, including reviewing our car parking strategy on campus.
  • Generating ideas for the creation of a community hub for students through consultation and demonstrations of campus plan framework principles.
  • Articulating the aim of linking Campus East with Campus West and inviting ideas on how to achieve this.
  • Balancing the conservation of the original campus design while managing and enhancing the landscape for the future of the University. Part of Campus West has recently been designated a Grade II Registered Park and Garden by Historic England. The listing recognises that Campus West “successfully integrates a series of buildings within a carefully designed landscape”.
  • Exploring potential sites for an improved campus nursery.
  • Engaging with the local communities and our city.
  • Creation of a new facility to house a cryo electron microscope, enhancing collaborative research between the departments of Chemistry and Biology.
  • Exploring options for improving the infrastructure and services on campus.
  • Hull York Medical School (York Campus) remodeling to accommodate more students and creating a collaborative working and learning environment.
  • Refurbishment of the iconic and Grade II listed Central Hall building.
  • Reviewing and updating of student accommodation, teaching and learning spaces to improve our students’ experience.
  • Improving our campus for all users by developing landscaping, signage and internal and external routes.

Back to the beginning

When the University was founded, the 1962 development plan focused on creating a campus that felt like a neighbourhood with a broad mixture of social, residential and academic places and spaces. Our vision seeks to reimagine our campus whilst staying true to the original principles:

  • The integration of academic, social and residential activities represented in the concept and physical structure of a college.
  • A predominantly car-free environment with priority being given to pedestrian and cycle routes.
  • A sense of informality.
  • A system of covered paths and informal routes.
  • A high quality landscape setting and a large lake.

Recognising our heritage

Austin Wright's Dryad sculpture

Our vision is sympathetic to our values and recognises the heritage of our buildings.

In 2018 Central Hall, Derwent College, and the Campus West landscape were Grade II listed by Historic England. The covered walkway between Derwent College and Central Hall, the ramp (including the Austin Wright sculpture) leading to the Library bridge and Austin Wright's Dryad sculpture, near Heslington Hall were also been listed.

Heslington Hall, and associated gardens, and Kings Manor have previously been listed by Historic England.

The University’s Campus West provides a high-quality post-war university landscape that fulfils the architects’ masterplan vision of creating a town in miniature with a pedestrianised environment.

Historic England