Healthy £6 million funding boost secured for sport and healthcare facilities
The University of Wolverhampton has secured nearly £6 million funding from the Office for Students (OfS) to invest in exciting advances in sport and healthcare facilities at its Walsall Campus.
The OfS is awarding £432 million in capital funding to support investment in new buildings, facilities and equipment for universities and colleges across England.
Investment in refurbishing existing facilities will create a suite of modern, multidisciplinary facilities in the University’s School of Allied Health and Midwifery (SAH) and the School of Sport (SoS) providing state of the art skills-based teaching facilities for the preparation for, and return to active lifestyles, sport and physical activity across strength and conditioning, injury assessment, injury prevention, diagnosis, prehabilitation and rehabilitation.
The world class multipurpose teaching and training facilities will be designed to facilitate inter-professional education (IPE), which is essential for allied health and sport and physical activity practitioners who work together in a clinical environment.
Students studying for a variety of Undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Walsall Campus, including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Podiatry as well as Exercise Science, Football Coaching and Performance and Strength and Conditioning, will benefit from the investment.
Professor Damien Page, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing at the University, said: “Demand for our degree courses is high but our current facilities limit student numbers which is why securing this incredible amount of funding is an amazing achievement for the Faculty.
“These refurbishments will enable us to increase student numbers on existing courses and expand our provision to Dietetics and Clinical Exercise Physiology, with the intention of enrolling many more students across these courses in the coming years.
“The advanced equipment, learning spaces and facilities will provide an unmatched experience for our students, inspiring, challenging, connecting and engendering a passion for learning to boost their employability, grow student numbers to better meet demand and address the skills needs of our local communities.
“In response to regional demand, this project will allow us to create a space that will enable us to not only increase the number of specialists trained to support the employer demand in the local areas, but to ensure our courses are industry relevant and enhance the employability and skills of our students.”
Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the OfS, said: “Investing in modern buildings and innovative equipment will help universities and colleges in England prepare students for their future careers. Modern laboratories and state of the art technology mean students learn with the best facilities. Our investment will also increase the provision of short courses that offer flexibility to boost the skills of the workforce.
“Competition for funding was strong, with high quality applications from across the sector. The OfS-funded capital projects will ensure current and future students have a positive experience while studying expensive-to-deliver subjects that are strategically important to society. Taxpayers will feel these benefits too, as our investment will boost local and regional economies and support environmental sustainability.”
The refurbishment project, due to start early in 2023, will overhaul existing facilities in the University’s Jerome K Jerome, William Penny Brookes and Sister Dora buildings at Walsall Campus creating a revitalised performance gym and a suite of learning spaces and facilities.
In June 2019, the University made a commitment to a 10-year partnership with Sandwell Council and Sandwell Leisure Trust for the provision of swimming facilities for students including the use of a state-of-the-art Olympic swimming pool and diving facilities.
The University's School of Sport was recently awarded an Athena SWAN Bronze Department Award in recognition of its work to support gender equality and is home to the British Judo Centre of Excellence.
£4.8 million was also recently invested in nursing and health lab facilities in the University’s Sister Dora Building.
The refurbishment project is due to be completed by December 2024
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