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Status of major projects


  • Iffley Road Sports Centre – the multi-purpose training room is finished and the new sports centre completed in March 2018.
  • Beecroft Building for the Department of Physics– work on the labs and offices completed May 2018.
  • Creation of new King Labs in the Sherrington Building for the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics – completed May 2018.

Completion due during 2018

  • Chemistry teaching labs (next to Tinbergen building) – the frame is now complete and the cladding is nearly finished. The first tranche of fume cupboards have been installed. Completion is expected in summer 2018. Project manager: Colin McAuley, CPC.
  • Research building for the Department of Zoology – completion is due summer 2018. Project managers: Oliver Bannister and Rhian Atkins, Ridge.
  • New research building for the Department of Zoology at the Wytham Field Station. The project is expected to complete in summer 2018. Project manager: Nick Mullineux, TMD.
  • Project 696 (Old Road Campus) – works are progressing on site with fit-out of laboratories now starting. The building will include the BioEscalator, a car park and space for the Novo Nordisk Research Centre. Estimated completion August 2018. Project manager: Hans Andreae, CPC.
  • Dyson Perrins – work started in September 2017 to adapt existing space to accommodate new equipment for the Archaeology department. Expected to complete in Autumn 2018 due to additional works to accommodate departmental equipment. Project manager: Tim Leigh, Ridge.
  • Rowing Tanks Project at Iffley Road sports complex – completion is due Q1 2019. Project manager: Owen Marsden, TMD.

At planning and design stages

  • Biochemistry Phase II, Science Area – developed design stage now completed. Due on site summer 2018. Project manager: Jon Odell, CPC
  • Humanities on the ROQ – the pre-feasibility study for a new Humanities building is being reviewed following revisions to the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ) site masterplan. Project manager: Matt Eaton.
  • Castle Mill graduate accommodation  – building and landscaping improvement works started in February 2018. Project manager: Jon Odell, CPC, with Mark Wheatley.
  • Said Business School new executive accommodation – planning in Q2 2018. Project manager: Jolyon Price, Ridge.
  • PET Radiochemistry and Radiopharmacy building – construction work is likely to start in early 2019 on the second phase of this project on the Churchill Hospital site, after a GE cyclotron was chosen by the users for the project.
  • Radcliffe Science Library – developing feasibility study for a redevelopment project with aims that include creating new teaching and research space; enhancing access to resources, collections and specialist library staff; and providing appropriate storage and digitisation spaces for the University museums. Project Manager: Viv Barnard, CPC

Physics department move into Beecroft

Academics and other staff from the Department of Physics have moved into the Beecroft Building as the construction of this exceptional new structure draws to a close.

The validation process to ensure the Beecroft matches its specification in every respect continues, but its above-ground offices, teaching areas, communal spaces, and some laboratories are now in use.

Practical completion was achieved on 14 May. Landscaping work is now underway around the building. An opening ceremony will follow in September.

Construction begins on new neuroscience research centreScene from groundbreaking at new stroke and dementia research centre at JR.

Work has started on the construction of the UK’s first centre for research into the prevention of strokes and dementia.

The first ground was broken on the new neuroscience research facility at the John Radcliffe Hospital at the end of April. Construction is expected to take around a year.

The building will provide purpose-built facilities for the Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD) as well as research space for the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN). Both are part of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

‘The new facility gives us an opportunity to bring our teams together, enabling us to do the sort of work that can have life-changing outcomes for patients,’ said Professor Peter Rothwell, head of CPSD.

Construction is being managed by the Capital Projects team. Part of the funding for the project comes from the Wolfson Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

Building 696 to be finished in August

Practical completion of Building 696 at Old Road Campus, formerly known as the Amenities Building, is expected in mid-August. It is now being fitted out and the University is in discussion with potential tenants for the Bioescalator, a facility in the building for start-up companies to encourage the commercialisation of the University’s biotechnology research.

As well as the Bioescalator, the building will also provide two floors of laboratories for Danish healthcare company Novo Nordisk, which last year announced a major strategic alliance with the University. When the building is finished the company will relocate from its current temporary home in the Henry Wellcome Building for Molecular Physiology.

The building will also provide a multi storey car park for the entire campus and various smaller spaces such as a catering kitchen and facilities for Security Services staff.

New sports hall completed

Work has finished on the Acer Nethercott Sports Centre at the University’s Iffley Road complex.

The new four-court sports hall offers cutting-edge features including a digital floor whose markings can be changed to those needed for numerous different sports at the touch of a button. It provides additional changing facilities, a multi-purpose activity room and a refurbished café and reception area.

This is just part of Oxford University Sports’ plans to redevelop the facilities at Iffley Road; in the longer term these also include a grandstand, a new gym and wellbeing centre and more indoor sports facilities.

Biochemistry Phase 2 construction to begin in July

Work will start in July on the second phase of construction of the Biochemistry building. The site, an empty plot in the middle of the Science Area, is unusually challenging and constricted, so construction is likely to cause more disruption than usual to traffic and inhabitants of nearby buildings. Contractors and the Capital Projects team will do everything possible to minimise this disruption. As part of their efforts to do this, they held a drop-in session in May for those working around the site, gathering feedback to inform their management of construction traffic and other disruptive activities so that they cause as little inconvenience as possible. Further consultation activities will follow throughout the project’s duration.

Osney Power Station consultation continues

An initial round of public consultation has taken place on proposals to turn Osney Power Station into high-quality short-stay accommodation for executives attending management training courses at the Saïd Business School.

The lively and well-attended first round of consultations earlier this year provided useful feedback, which has been incorporated into the revised plans that are now forming the basis of the second consultation. The aim is to apply for planning permission later in the summer and begin the main part of construction works in spring 2019.

Most of the building is not currently used, although some of it holds part of the collections of the University Museums. These are being removed ahead of construction.

Work on second phase of Radiopharmacy building to start next year

Construction work is likely to start in early 2019 on the second phase of the PET Radiochemistry and Radiopharmacy building on the Churchill Hospital site, after users in the Medical Sciences division chose a GE cyclotron to form the heart of the project.

Also known as PROx – PET Radiopharmacy Oxford – the highly specialised building will use a cyclotron particle accelerator to make radioactive isotopes that can then be used as tracers to help diagnose cancer. Space was left for the cyclotron during the first phase of the project, which was finished several years ago.

Governance changes will tighten up capital investment oversight

Recent changes to the University’s governance structure introduce a far more rigorous set of procedures for managing the way we deliver major capital investments.

The Capital Steering Group (CSG) now generally looks after projects worth less than £15m, while the new Strategic Capital Steering Group (SCSG) is generally responsible for larger projects worth more than £15m. Both groups are chaired by Dr David Prout, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Resources.

SCSG is in charge of allocating the University’s Strategic Capital Fund, taking over responsibility for agreeing funding for many of the University’s major projects – including a replacement for the Tinbergen building and further development of Old Road Campus. It will be responsible for fewer projects – 23 in 2018 compared to CSG’s 92.

The bodies providing oversight of University capital projects, formerly known as Project Sponsor Groups, will now be known as Project Boards. Each will have a Single Responsible Owner – a person who is empowered to make sure the project stays on track, and can be held responsible if this does not happen. This should introduce greater accountability to the oversight of major capital projects. These projects will also use a Gateway review approach from now on, ensuring that only those with strong business cases move forward.

Project Board training

The following training sessions for members of Project Boards – previously known as Project Sponsor Groups – are scheduled for the rest of 2018:

  • Thursday 5 July
  • Wednesday 12 September
  • Thursday 22 November

All sessions run from 10am to 11.30am and are held in the Malthouse on Tidmarsh Lane. Space is limited so if you would like to attend, contact It is a requirement of BESC that all Project Board members attend one of these training sessions.

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