From left to right: Professor Stuart Logan, Professor Wendy Reid, Exeter Lord Mayor Olwen Foggin, Professor Sir Steve Smith and Philip Bostock

VIP event celebrates South Cloisters opening

Healthcare and research leaders gathered to celebrate the official opening of a £10.5 million new facility that is fostering excellence in clinical research and education.

The University of Exeter Medical School hosted a VIP event to highlight investment in the South Cloisters building, at the St Luke’s Campus. The high-quality refurbishment involved an extension and a new storey added to the building. It is now home to the Medical School’s world-leading Institute of Health Research and also the Medical Imaging programme, which is routinely named as the best of its kind in the country.

Many of the researchers based in the building are part of the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula (PenCLAHRC), a £10 million partnership which spans Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, encompassing universities in the South West and the NHS. Under the directorship of Professor Stuart Logan, PenCLAHRC supports research with direct impact on patients' health and on improvements to the way in which NHS care is delivered.

Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality at Health Education England, unveiled a plaque when she joined colleagues from across the region on Wednesday March 2.

Professor Janice Kay, Provost of the University of Exeter, said “We’re delighted that we now have an exciting new home for PenCLAHRC, Medical Imaging and other healthcare staff. We have invested heavily in a range of new facilities to create a hub with a strong emphasis on health and wellbeing. This new building is bringing together researchers and educators in high-quality surroundings, fostering collaboration and partnerships and strengthening our vibrant base at St Luke’s.”

Guests toured the building, visiting the Medical Imaging suite on the ground floor, and saw the modern radiography equipment in use by students. They met researchers and families who have directly benefitted from health services research.

The building opened last year, and the works were primarily carried out by local firm Midas Construction, with external project management by AECOM and design by Exeter-based Grainge Architects, and include a new third storey to the building and extensive internal re-modelling over the other existing floors with the addition of a glazed staircase and atrium.  This investment has secured new high quality student learning and study spaces available to everyone at St Luke’s, representing a significant upgrade to facilities.

Next door to South Cloisters is the newly modernised Giraffe House student study centre, and nearby is College House, a former hall of residence which has been converted to further high-quality space for the Medical School.

Hugh McCann, Director of Estate Development for the University of Exeter, said: “This investment is part of the University’s commitment to continuing to build upon the Medical School’s world-class research and education over the coming years, and in upgrading our historic St Luke’s Campus for all users. The quality of the South Cloisters upgrade is outstanding – it’s a real boost for the campus.” 

Date: 4 March 2016

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