Project phases

About the project

Project North Park will deliver a purpose-built facility and represents one of the most significant investments in research and teaching by the University over the last ten years.

Latest News

In light of the Covid-19 situation the University has taken the decision to pause Project North Park. We feel this is the most sensible decision to make at this time to ensure the University can focus its efforts on supporting students and staff through these unprecedented circumstances. We will update construction and opening times for the building soon.

In June 2020 Exeter City Council approved the planning application for the building. To view the planning documents go to Exeter City Council’s planning pages (reference number: 20/0284/FUL):  

What will the building look like and include?

The building will mirror the high quality design and facilities of other buildings on campus. It will be tiered to reflect the topography of the site and have varying multi-storey heights – between 3 and 5 storeys. It will be rectangular and regular in form to provide the ability to adapt spaces to meet the needs of the university now and in the future.

Each floor of the building will encourage collaborative interactions. From bump points where conversations can begin to formal meeting areas to develop plans, and event space to showcase results and inspire new links. Digital solutions such as a smart phone app and screens around the building will enhance engagement in research and open up further opportunities for joint working.

The building will also have roof terraces and the building orientation will make the best use of natural light and link the building to the surrounding green spaces, creating an environment that promotes wellbeing and encourages innovation and creativity. The design will promote sustainability and aims to achieve carbon neutrality in terms of regulated carbon emissions.

Take a look at the Building layout March 2020.

Included in the building:

  • 16 seminar rooms
  • 2 computer labs
  • 400 seat auditorium that can be split in to two 200 seat lecture theatres
  • 150 social study and cafe space
  • Post graduate study space for Humanities and Social Sciences 
  • A Maker space and Think space (for students to engage in entrepreneurial problem based learning)
  • 2 telescopes - linked to the computer labs
  • A XXL lab (developing high-contrast imaging for exoplanet detection and characterisation)

Why are we planning to build a three phased shell and core construction?

We propose to build North Park in three phases.

The first phase will include constructing the complete shell of the building and fitting out the part of the building that will be occupied first. The second and third phases will fit out the rest of the building areas.

We have decided to build in phases to allow us to have financial security and the flexibility to adapt the building to the changing needs of the university in the coming years.

When will the building be open?

In light of the current Covid-19 situation the University has taken the decision to pause Project North Park until next year. We feel this is the most sensible decision to make at this time to ensure the University can focus its efforts on supporting students and staff through these unprecedented circumstances. We will update construction and opening times for the building soon.

Who is involved in the project?

The project is sponsored by our Registrar and Secretary, Mike Shore Nye. The first Project Board took place on 20 October 2017 and has met monthly since this time.

The project features four cross-cutting work groups:

  1. Research - led by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research
  2. Education - led by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education
  3. Arts and Culture - led by Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, College of Humanities
  4. Infrastructure - led by Director of Campus Infrastructure and Operational Support Services

This project is about developing innovative teaching and research within the building, and they will be far more important than the building itself.

Professor Mark Goodwin
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement)

Project team and board members

The Terms of Reference for the project were reviewed and approved by the Project Board on 05 September 2019. 

Terms of Reference

1) To own the vision for this project, ensuring that the building supports the delivery of the university’s strategic vision within its physical design and usage.

2) To ensure the project considers its impact on the rest of the campus both during and post construction including its relationship with other facilities on campus and the student, staff and public experience.

3) To ensure the opportunities of this investment are maximised and provide value for money at every stage of the project including:

a) Recognising its contribution to enhancing the campus.

b) The reputational gains that can be made within the local and regional communities as well as the academic community.

4) To successfully manage the scale, complexity and ambition of this project by ensuring:         

a) Timely decision making and issue escalation to enable the project to deliver its collective outcomes to agreed time and budget.

b) Alignment of purpose and activities across all work streams and management of dependencies both inside and outside the project.

c) Appropriate levels of scrutiny and approval are provided in association with the university’s capital procedures.

5) To manage the diverse and complex stakeholder groups to ensure:

a) Requirements are recognised and co-ordinated.

b) The project’s communications strategy and plan keeps key stakeholders effectively engaged and informed and maximises the positive PR opportunities.



Registrar and Secretary – Mike Shore-Nye               


Provost – Professor Janice Kay

DVC External Engagement – Professor Mark Goodwin

DVC Research and Impact – Professor Neil Gow

DVC Education – Professor Tim Quine

Independent Council Member – Sarah Buck

Chief Financial Officer – Andrew Connolly

CEO, Students’ Guild – Joff Cooke

President, Students’ Guild – Patrick Hoyle

Chief College Operations Officer – Linda Peka

Director of Campus Infrastructure and Operational Support Services – Craig Nowell

PVC College of Humanities – Professor Andrew Thorpe

In Attendance: 

Director of Estate Services – Hugh McCann

SDU Programme Manager – Gill Preston

Senior Project Manager, Estate Services – John Vickery


Business Manager to Registrar and Secretary – Sophie Hawkes

Reports to

  • CIG, VCEG and Council – as per capital investment governance procedures
  • SDG – as part of the University’s Change Portfolio
  • Council Scrutiny Group – the Programme Board consults the Council Scrutiny Group for guidance on seeking approval from Council

Frequency of meeting

On a monthly basis, with meetings in between where necessary.