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New £26m Laidlaw Library for University of Leeds

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08 Jul 2015

Shepherd, a leading built environment specialist, has handed over the new £26m Laidlaw Library to the University of Leed.

This purpose-built learning environment, is one of the most high-profile elements of the university's transformative improvement programme and will provide nearly 1,000 extra library seats for students.

The Laidlaw Library development was heavily funded through donations from University of Leeds alumni and is named in recognition of Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s gift of £9m in support of the project.

The new facility will provide an innovative learning space for students and reduce pressure on the University campus'€™s existing library facilities, particularly during key times such as exam periods.

Based on Woodhouse Lane, the facility was delivered by Shepherd'€™s construction and engineering services teams and will also feature areas for group work and quiet studying, dedicated IT and media zones, on site academic skills support and a cafe.

The library will not only benefit students but also the wider Leeds community through the inclusion of a multi-purpose and dedicated community room.

After being awarded with an €˜'excellent'€™ BREEAM rating, reflecting outstanding sustainability and environmental credentials, the library will also boast a green planting roof and solar panels, which will be used to generate much of its electricity.

Speaking at the official opening, Chancellor Melvyn Bragg described it as a landmark moment in the development of the UNiversity of Leeds: "Architecturally it forms a stunning new entrance to our campus, educationally it provides the stimulating and flexible space needed for current and future generations of students".

Dave Carter, Shepherd Construction project manager, said: "€œPerfectly located on the University's campus, this landmark project represents a hugely significant boost to Leeds' education offer.

"€œThis project's significance is underlined by the inspiring and generous financial support donated by the University'€™s alumni.

"€œThe opening is the culminating milestone on the journey to creating a legacy of unique learning environments for the students of the University of Leeds and we’re extremely proud to play a leading role in delivering these facilities.

"€œThis has been a complex project with the added challenge of a busy city centre location. We've now finished the external works to the front of the building, and have supported the University with additional works as they moved into their new library.”