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Leeds Beckett University takes ownership of flagship Carnegie School of Sport building


Completion of the state-of-the-art Carnegie School of Sport building has moved a step closer after it was handed over to Leeds Beckett University from its construction partners.

The teaching and research building will be a base for the Carnegie School of Sport’s undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes and will provide a hub for the elite athletes who use the university’s sports performance expertise.

Key features of the £45m building, located at the university’s Headingley Campus, include a covered rooftop 60m sprint track for performance training and analysis, dedicated research laboratories and a health and wellbeing studio.

Teaching provision across the 90,000 sq ft centre, which can cater for more than 1,600 students, incorporates five lecture theatres and around 40 research and teaching laboratories.

The building will also house two world class environmental chambers, which can mimic different altitudes and environments and are capable of achieving temperatures of between -30 Degree C to +50 degrees C, relative humidity of 15% to 95% and altitudes up to 8,000 metres. The chambers will support the university’s ongoing research with the Centre for Human Performance, which focuses on performance in extreme environments, supporting the military and sporting partners.

In addition, the Carnegie School of Sport building will feature enhanced strength and conditioning spaces, changing and recovery facilities, a number of networking spaces for students, staff and visitors, a café, informal teaching spaces and learning support areas that will foster inter-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Following the handover from architects Sheppard Robson and construction group Galliford Try, experts from the university’s IT Services and Estates teams will complete the fit-out ahead of opening the building to students and staff.

Peter Mackreth, Dean of the Carnegie School of Sport, said: “Carnegie School of Sport is the UK’s biggest school of its type and this outstanding facility will enable our staff and students to continue to shape the future of sport, changing lives for the better by helping to improve practice, policy and performance.

“Our applied research with our partner network, in performance, conditioning, and coach development, anti-doping, nutrition, and health and wellbeing, is changing policy and practice around the globe. And now thanks to this fantastic new building our staff and students have the facilities to match their achievements and ambitions.

“We would like to place on record our gratitude to construction group Galliford Try, architects Sheppard Robson and all our partners for their hard work in making this complex project a reality, as well as to Leeds City Council and the local community for their ongoing support.”

Cliff Wheatley, Managing Director, Building North East and Yorkshire at Galliford Try, said: “We are proud to have delivered the Carnegie School of Sport project for the staff and students of Leeds Beckett University. The project team and all the stakeholders involved have risen to the challenge, creating a truly world-class facility that will have a significant impact on teaching, research and performance for years to come.”

Alex Smith, Associate Partner at Sheppard Robson, added: “It has been a fantastic journey working with the university and its Carnegie School of Sport to design a facility to match its reputation in this field and enable its future growth and innovation. The challenges of the site and context have driven us to design a striking built form that expresses the use within.”

Progress on the building follows Leeds Beckett University being ranked in the world’s top 100 universities for sport-related subjects by the QS World University Rankings earlier this year. It also holds a prestigious position in the top ten most successful UK universities for widening participation and ensuring higher education is accessible to people from all backgrounds.

The Carnegie School of Sport is well-known for its sporting excellence and was founded in 1933 as the prestigious Carnegie College of Physical Training. Notable sporting alumni from the university include Leeds Rhinos legends Kevin Sinfield and Jamie Jones-Buchanan; double Paralympic gold-winning athlete, Kadeena Cox MBE; former GB hockey player Sam Quek MBE; Women’s FA Cup footballer, Lucy Bronze; and former England rugby union head coach, Stuart Lancaster.

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