Agreement for temporary move to Ushaw College

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Joint Press Release by Durham University and the Trustees of Ushaw College

Durham University and the Trustees of Ushaw College are pleased to announce that Durham Business School (DBS) is to temporarily relocate to Ushaw College while a state-of-the-art rebuilding and extension of the School’s current home takes place in Durham.

This move represents an important step in the new relationship between the University and the Ushaw Trustees who are now working in full partnership to secure a long-term education-based vision for Ushaw College.

A licence agreement was signed by the Trustees and the University in November to allow enabling works to be carried out in preparation for the arrival of DBS at Ushaw in April 2012. This is being followed by a lease agreement.

Work will then begin on the £16.6million rebuilding and extension of the DBS’s current Mill Hill Lane home in Durham. Ushaw is set to be home to the Business School until these works, which are expected to take two years, are completed.

The redevelopment at Mill Hill Lane includes construction of a major new extension which will include seminar rooms, offices and catering facilities. The plans also include alterations to existing buildings to create lecture rooms, seminar rooms, a library, IT laboratories and offices.

At Ushaw Durham University is investing in upgrading the facilities to ensure that it can support the vibrant Business School and its operations.

Professor Rob Dixon, Dean of Durham Business School, said: “We are delighted that Durham Business School will soon be brought into association with the rich history of learning at Ushaw College. We will be investing significantly in the facilities that will leave a positive legacy at the college, thus making our own contribution to the promising future of the site.”

At the same time University is also providing specialist resources to undertake the substantial task of cataloguing and archiving the Ushaw library to modern standards and inventorying the other collections to ensure their preservation and specialist conservation.

The Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS), Durham University, which is coordinating and overseeing these recording activities at Ushaw, is developing plans to open up the magnificent collections at Ushaw for full scholarly use and public benefit. An International Development Board for the CCS which will support the University and the Trustees to realise this significant vision is being appointed and will be announced later this year.

The CCS is working closely with the Project Group established by the Ushaw Trustees in June to secure a viable future for Ushaw College. The Project Group is chaired by the Right Reverend Bishop Mark Davies, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury and himself an alumnus of Durham University.

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury said: “This announcement by Durham University is very much to be welcomed and there are solid grounds to be confident that this temporary re-location of staff and students will prove to be successful.”

“It is securely based on the ever stronger working relationship between Durham University and Ushaw College as the future of the whole Ushaw Estate is addressed.”

On the recommendation of the Project Group, the Trustees of Ushaw and the University have jointly commissioned a leading firm of advisors, Malcolm Reading Consultants, to oversee a feasibility study for the site working closely with the CCS and other key stakeholders.

Malcolm Reading Consultants has enormous experience in providing strategic advice and project oversight with complex sites including major historic buildings. Other major projects have included St Martin-in-the-Fields and the UK Supreme Court in central London, Stowe House Preservation Trust and Stowe School in Buckinghamshire and recently Exeter College, Oxford.

About Durham University

Durham University is a World Top-100 university with a global reputation in research and education across the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences. It is England’s third oldest university and Durham has been a leading centre of scholarship for a thousand years. At the University’s heart is a UNESCO World Heritage site which it owns, together with Durham Cathedral. Durham is consistently ranked in the top few universities in the UK and the leading university in the North. Its residential Collegiate system enables the University to recruit some of the most talented and motivated students from around the world to develop transferable skills such as leadership, alongside academic excellence, which place Durham graduates in the World Top-15 for global student employability.*

* 2011 QS World University Rankings

About Ushaw College

Ushaw College, situated just three miles from the centre of Durham, can trace its roots back to Douai College which was founded in 1568 in the Spanish Netherlands (now northern France) to provide priests for the English mission and to educate Catholic laymen at a time when Catholics in this country suffered persecution during the reign of Elizabeth I. After the French Revolution students and staff from Douai return to England and settled in County Durham eventually moving to Ushaw in 1808. The buildings were designed by a number of important Catholic architects including A.W. Pugin. For much of the nineteenth century, Ushaw’s educational facilities made it the premier Catholic college in England and right up into the 1950s some 400 students were in attendance. Ushaw served as the seminary for the training of priests from the Northern Province and the Diocese of Shrewsbury since its foundation.