Impact story: Infrastructure and Estates

university buildingsIntroducing the George Davis Centre

The University’s most ambitious fundraising appeal since its founding came to a triumphant conclusion on 11 November 2017, when we officially opened the George Davies Centre. This multi-year, £42 million project has created a new home for the School of Medicine, the Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, and Health Sciences.

Given the working title of 'The Centre for Medicine', during its construction, the building was inaugurated on 11 November as the George Davies Centre to acknowledge a £5.15 million gift from philanthropist and fashion retailer George Davies.

The new centre is a hub of teaching excellence and high quality research in a broad range of health and medical disciplines, from genetic epidemiology to cellular and molecular neurobiology. The research focusses on major chronic diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, stroke and respiratory disease.

The Passivhaus building achieved BREEAM Certificate of Excellence for water, building management, energy use, land use and ecology in June 2016. In May 2017, the centre was named the Building Sustainability Project of the Year at the 2017 Global Good Awards. The Centre is a base for innovation in teaching for our medical students, including a new medical school that has a strongly patient-centred curriculum. It is proving to be the perfect place in which to deliver our undergraduate medical course. It is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, much of which our students will use when they become physicians, and they find the bright and spacious surroundings to be an ideal learning environment.

Our first-year medical students are able, for the first time, to attend lectures together in one auditorium; they have breakout spaces that are fully digitally enabled that can be easily adapted to individual group needs. Students are also able to access spaces that are conducive to peer-to-peer learning.

"The new Centre has provided us with a spacious, well equipped environment for teaching, and it is great to see students making good use of the informal learning areas. The flexible design of the teaching space is perfect for recruitment and selection events where we are meeting the students who will be the next generation of doctors."

Dr Margaret Barnes-Davis, Associate Professor and Senior Admissions Tutor for Medicine

Thanks to the support of the Edith Murphy Foundation, the College of Life Sciences will be using the centre as a base from which to branch out and connect with the local community to support the needs of the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The Foundation has funded a community engagement project that will open up facilities and expertise in a meaningful way to the local community. None of this would have been possible without generous gifts from our benefactors.

Please consider making a gift towards our Infrastructure and Estates fund.