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Refurbishment work starts after £6 million funding boost

A front view of the Sister Dora Building at Walsall Campus

Work has officially started on the refurbishment of sport and healthcare facilities at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus following a £6 million funding boost from the Office for Students (OfS) to significantly invest in improving facilities. 

The OfS awarded £432 million in capital funding to support investment in new buildings, facilities and equipment for universities and colleges across England earlier this year. 

Birmingham-based contractor, Seddon Construction and Glancy Nicholls Architects are working with the University Estates Capital Department supported by project management companies, Faithful+Gould and EDGE on the refurbishment which started in July. 

The refurbishment project will overhaul existing facilities in the University’s Jerome K Jerome and Sister Dora buildings at Walsall Campus creating a revitalised performance gym and a suite of learning spaces and facilities. 

Refurbishment work carried out 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 Alex Forsythe, 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.”   

Pantellis Georgallas, Project Manager at Faithful+Gould, said: “As someone who is really passionate about the mental, physical and emotional health of others, it’s really fulfilling to work on a project that will contribute to the education of allied health and sport and physical activity practitioners. 

“The project team consists of Architects, Structural Engineers, Academics, Planners and Cost Consultants who have become like a family, each contributing to the overall success. We have all worked really hard as a team to get the project to site, and I can’t wait to see it completed and for teaching to begin.” 

John Shannon, Managing Director, Seddon Property Services said: “Seddon are delighted to be involved in this valuable partnership, delivering first-class facilities for the FEHW Walsall Campus and its students. Alongside the refurbishment of the site’s swimming pool and performance laboratory, we will be refurbishing spaces dedicated to physiotherapy, podiatry, orthotics, and strength and conditioning, amongst others. This dynamic project is now on site, and we look forward to handing over the completed facilities later this year.” 

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 in the autumn of 2023. 

Find out more about degree courses in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing and visit one of our forthcoming Open Days. 


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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