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Penryn 2.0

We are proposing to invest in a new facility on our Penryn Campus that will build on the success of the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), expanding our impactful, premiere, sustainable futures research and teaching. 

Our goal is for our Penryn Campus to have a global reputation of expertise in sustainability, where we deliver practical solutions to create a just and sustainable future and solve world-wide environmental issues. 

The new three storey facility is fundamental to our Strategy 2030 ambition to “grow our research, education and partnership activities in Cornwall.” 

It will provide much needed space for innovation, creativity, learning and discovery, collaboration and community, where our interdisciplinary research and teaching can make a profound and positive difference to our world, now and for decades to come. 

The building will include a new lecture theatre to increase capacity for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, as well as specialist, state of the art laboratories and collaborative space that will enable us to deliver new, interconnected programmes of learning that are focussed on Future Sustainable Skills and build on existing programmes across all three faculties.

The spaces will create an enhanced student experience and allow opportunities for our students to flourish, with flexible learning spaces, research-led experiences and skills-orientated programmes that meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy.  

The increased laboratory space will allow our Microbiology Research Group to substantially grow its environmental and human health areas of research, to train the next generation of environmentalists and to engage further with businesses. 

We will also be able to grow and co-create innovative, new, interdisciplinary areas of research in partnership with businesses, governments and external funding bodies that increase knowledge transfer and provide solutions to global environmental challenges. 

We aim to support the region in becoming an international hub for net zero, clean growth and nature recovery. The investment in Penryn will allow us to align our research and teaching with regional priorities so that we can take a leading role in the prosperity and success of the region. 

Sustainability and reducing carbon emissions are fundamental to the design of the new facility. This project has an ambition to achieve Passivhaus which drives rigorous low-energy design standards, demonstrating our commitment to carbon net-zero. 


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If you have any queries about the proposed new facility, please contact: 

Project updates

The outline business case was approved by University Council on Thursday 6 July 2023.

All three faculties are collaborating and contributing to the success of the project.

The next stage will be to appoint an architect to design the new facility, with a view to start construction in summer 2024, and complete by winter 2025/26 (dates are subject to change).