Capital Strategy 2016 – 2021

The University’s Capital Strategy received indicative approval from Council in December 2016 with some clear caveats. The Strategy will see a commitment to invest £428.5m in our estate, facilities and infrastructure over the next ten years, as long as we meet the planned financial savings targets we have set ourselves.

The proposed investment will be used to support the University’s key strategic objectives and will help us to build the estate we need to deliver world-class research and an internationally excellent education, supporting our vision for Exeter to become a global 100 university. 

The Capital Strategy is supported by a comprehensive Estate Strategy that details the development of our estate and buildings, IT infrastructure and equipment. Investment in this area will also see us upgrade our existing facilities, as well as investment in new academic buildings, residences and specialist teaching and research facilities across all campuses.

How will this money be spent?

  • £252.26m will be invested in a number of estates and buildings projects to improve our carbon management, our teaching and learning spaces, our research facilities, the use of our existing space, and our student experience at each of our campuses in Cornwall and Exeter;
  • £41.65m will be used to fund upgrades and/or replacements to existing equipment when current provision reaches the end of its service life or technology and technique moves on. This also covers the purchase of major new equipment to support our research academics; 
  • £72.5m will be invested to drive improvements in our IT infrastructure – this will enable us to deliver our draft IT and Digital Strategies; 
  • £22m will be set aside as a risk and opportunity fund. This will provide an element of contingency for unforeseen risks or changes that may arise during the strategy period. It will also provide match funding for new opportunities in connection with grants, research bids, philanthropic giving or external collaborative opportunities.

Investment across all our campuses

Each of our campuses will see significant change over the next ten years and the proposals approved as part of the Capital Strategy seek to provide a balance of investment across all campuses.

Streatham Campus, Exeter

One of our most significant projects will see our biggest investment in research and teaching to date. Project Exceptional is a £79m development on our Streatham campus that will create a large mixed use building which integrates a new Institute for Global Systems with state of the art teaching facilities to support the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physics, as well as the humanities and social science disciplines. This development will create a collaborative international research community and reinforce our excellent discovery-led student experience.

St Luke's Campus, Exeter

To accommodate our growth in student numbers and colleagues joining the St Luke’s campus, we are creating additional specialist teaching spaces, seminar rooms, and teaching and research laboratories, alongside an investment into new office space for staff. £1.8m of work to the South Cloisters building has already taken place to accommodate the relocation of 66 colleagues from Exeter IT to the campus. This move, has allowed space within the crowded Laver building to be repurposed and made available to new academic colleagues joining discipline groupings.

Work is also underway to see how we can better utilise the existing space at St Luke’s particularly research and project space.

Penryn Campus, Cornwall

In October last year, Council approved the last of the projects within the Cornwall 2020 Campus Plan. This will see a £5.85m investment from the University of Exeter, which will be matched by Falmouth University. This will provide £11.70m of joint investment into shared facilities at the Cornwall campus which will support the growth of both institutions.

Our commitment to enhancing the student experience in Penryn is also showcased by our continued investment in sports provision on the campus. A new Sports Centre has recently been completed and work is now underway to explore opportunities to provide full size sports pitches for rugby, soccer and lacrosse. Alongside the planned increase in our residential estate in Cornwall, this will allow us to accommodate more students on the campus and provide enhanced facilities as student numbers begin to grow.

Next steps

We know there are challenging and uncertain times ahead but we are committed to delivering campuses that are exceptional; with investments that demonstrate excellent value for money, and that create a positive experience for our students, colleagues and visitors.

Further updates on approved projects that are set out within the strategy will be provided in the Weekly Bulletin and Team Brief as these progress. For further information, please contact