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Lucy's eco-friendly, accessible and future-proof building will house the growing and diverse student community

Why is the College carrying out building works?

The College Governing Body voted in March 2019 to change the admissions policy from the academic year 2021/2 to admit men and women from the age of 18. The College decided to open the opportunities, which it had historically given to mature women, to new groups of under-represented students of all ages and genders. It also plans to welcome and support particularly those who share a commitment to making a positive impact on society and who are keen to address some of the global challenges of the 21st Century. In addition to the change in admissions policy, the Governing Body also committed to expanding student numbers significantly in order to gain economies of scale and provide a genuine expansion rather than substitution of opportunities. In order to support this growth, the College needs to expand its capacity in various ways, including, crucially, facilities and accommodation. 

SDC construction video

What is planned?

The first phase of this expansion involves the demolition of Barrmore to create space for a new eco-friendly and accessible building housing 72 student rooms and social spaces including a large café/bar to be available from October 22. There will also be new pathways, landscaping and bicycle storage together with new bicycle and pedestrian access onto Madingley Road. This is a very exciting development for the College which will significantly increase the number of students who can be accommodated on the main site and transform the facilities offered to all our students. After long and detailed processes, the University approved a loan to the College for the development in November 2020 and the College received planning permission from the Planning Authority in December 2020. The Governing Body then gave approval on 6 January 2021 to appoint the contractors, SDC, who have now started carrying out works on site. One of the main considerations in their appointment, was their significant experience and excellent track record of operating in the middle of a live College site. The new building will also mean that we can review other spaces in College and improve their use and the facilities offered to students.

What is the timetable for the development?

The overall timetable for construction is extremely tight if we are to have the new building open for the start of Michaelmas Term 2022 but, mindful of students on site, the College stipulated right from the outset that there would be no very noisy work allowed during Easter Term 21. There is never an ideal time to build in the centre of a college site and we have been keen to consider the effects upon our students from the outset, particularly because they are already dealing with the impacts of COVID restrictions. For those students on site, we know that they are much more College based than usual and hence the overall environment is important. 

Time-lapse video of construction

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Work to start on Lucy’s new Passivhaus development

The Wolfson Foundation awards Lucy Cavendish College up to £200,000 towards the cost of new accommodation and learning spaces

Wolfson Foundation logoThe Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity with a focus on research and education. Its aim is to support civil society by investing in excellent projects in science, health, heritage, humanities and the arts.

Since it was established in 1955, some £1 billion (£2 billion in real terms) has been awarded to more than 14,000 projects throughout the UK, all on the basis of expert review. 

Twitter: @wolfsonfdn