Groundbreaking ceremony for £15.8m renovation of historic Brookfield House

Groundbreaking ceremony for £15.8m renovation of historic Brookfield House

The University of Leicester and Henry Boot Construction Ltd marked the official start of construction at the University’s Brookfield Campus with a traditional groundbreaking ceremony.

The historic 19th century Brookfield House on London Road was once home to the original benefactor of the University, Thomas Fielding Johnson.

The University is now giving the site a new lease of life. A comprehensive renovation of the site, including the main house, will be undertaken over the coming months to create a new home for the University’s School of Business. The newly named ‘Brookfield campus’ will boast a variety of teaching and social learning spaces.

The University of Leicester School of Business was established in 2016, bringing together the outstanding expertise in Economics and Management. The move to Brookfield will enable the School of Business to continue to thrive and develop a sense of a community at a dedicated campus.

In addition to works in the main house, the scheme will also see the removal of a 20th century extension and replacement with a much more architecturally sympathetic gabled building, which will provide a new lecture theatre and seminar rooms. The stable block and courtyard area will also be restored using traditional materials.

A key priority of the scheme is to open up views of the renovated historic house from London Road, which has been hidden from view in recent years by a high fence. The fence has now gone and will be replaced in time by herbaceous planting.

A wider scheme of landscaping improvements will see further investment in the extensive grounds at Brookfield, including additional ornamental and tree planting, a new pond and a network of paths throughout the site.

Brita Sread, Director of Estates and Campus Services at the University of Leicester, commented: “The University is leading on a number of development projects, but the Brookfield project is special because of the opportunity it provides to give this historic house a new lease of life.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Henry Boot Construction to the team and see the works get underway. The finished scheme is going to provide an exceptional environment for the University of Leicester School of Business to flourish, as well as offering a welcoming environment for the wider community.”

The University’s investment at Brookfield is part of a transformative campus wide £500m programme of investment that will improve student facilities as well as public spaces over the next decade. The ambition is to create an environment that truly supports teaching, research and an unrivalled student experience.

Pictured above, from left to right, are: David Woodhouse, Strategic Business Manager at Henry Boot Construction Ltd; Professor Zoe Radnor, Dean of the University of Leicester School of Business; Steve Holgate, Director of Projects and Planning, University of Leicester; Brita Sread, Director of Estates and Campus Services, University of Leicester and Tony Shaw, Operations Director at Henry Boot Construction Ltd.

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