400 seat lecture theatre to become latest investment in teaching space at Lancaster

Architects impression of the new lecture theatre

As part of Lancaster University’s growth strategy and in response to feedback from staff and students, the University is investing £4.7m in a new purpose-built, 400-seat lecture theatre.

The state-of-the art facility will be set back from the Spine, connecting to the FASS building on North campus. With a capacity of 400 seats, the lecture theatre will become the largest on campus, easing the demand on other teaching facilities and doubling-up as space to host large-scale conferences.

Paul Morris, Director of Capital Development and Estate Operations for Lancaster University said: “The new lecture theatre will add a significant new teaching and multipurpose, large capacity auditorium to our estate, complete with innovative digital integration. The lecture theatre is conveniently located on our central pedestrian spine and will enhance our offering as a sector leading Campus University.”

The main entrance to FASS will be refurbished as part of the project, which will provide shared access to the lecture theatre. The refurbishment will open the entranceway to FASS, providing a sense of arrival from the Spine and creating a large reception area to facilitate the increased volume of footfall. A modern looking ‘skywalk’ will link the FASS building and the lecture theatre and a second ground-floor entrance will be created for ease of access. There will also be an additional meeting room with breakout areas also improving the connectivity between the buildings. Landscaping will also enhance the area around John Creed Avenue.

JM Architects have worked with the university’s Estates Development team to develop designs for the new cutting-edge facility. Consultation took place with representatives from the Student’s Union, academic and departmental staff, students, and the Lancaster Conferences+ team to explore ideas on the layout, look and feel, and types of furniture and equipment that the space may need.

Ian Meeks, the Vice President of Education (2018/19) for the Students’ Union said: “It is great to see that the University is investing into more space across campus. Students have highlighted concerns around overcrowding on numerous occasions over the last few years. The addition of a new lecture theatre will help with this problem and allow classes, that currently double teach, be brought back together.”

Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Professor Sharon Huttly said: “The success of the University has led to a high demand for teaching space and the new lecture theatre will undoubtedly provide very welcome high quality teaching space for staff and students.”

Consultation and design stages are expected to continue over the summer with construction planned to start during Michaelmas term 2019, towards the end of this year.

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