News stories from across the Facilities Directorate at the University of Leeds.

Residential Services achieve international standard

The University of Leeds Residential Service has successfully achieved registration from BSI for operating a Quality Management System (QMS) that’s compliant with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for the provision of accommodation to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

In 2015, the team challenged themselves to develop and implement a QMS that would meet the very highest of standards.

Residential Services were already providing an excellent student experience and running a very commercially successful and sustainable service. But team members recognised that a QMS would assist them to standardise and preserve all of their developed knowledge, experience and good practices and help to further improve standards and performance.

BSI registration demonstrates our commitment to the quality of our accommodation and the service we provide to our students.

Ian Robertson, Director of Residential Services explained: “Initially we looked hard at the standard we wanted to achieve and we engaged the EQUAS management consultancy to help us do that. We wanted to ensure that we clearly understood the principals of the ISO 9001 standard and how using the standard would benefit us.  It was critical that we understood the workload and the role that team members would need to play in reviewing our business activities and processes against the standard.”

Ian also explained that “Residential Service’s QMS is scoped to support our business objectives. We have identified the needs of our students and have assessed their future requirements. The QMS helps us to ensure that we meet statutory regulations and that we communicate standards to everyone working in Residential Services. Risks and opportunities for improvement have been recognised and we’ve put in place operational controls that effectively manage and measure our performance.

“BSI registration demonstrates our commitment to the quality of our accommodation and the service we provide to our students.”

Working together to understand and implement our QMS has been tremendously beneficial for each and every team member. Engagement, training activity, participation in workshops, and a collective effort to complete necessary work to design and create our QMS has brought the team closer together and boosted the satisfaction they experience at work. This has been evidenced by the results of our recent staff satisfaction survey.

In 2015, 72.5% of staff working in Residential Services reported that their personal work objectives were aligned with Service plans and in November 2017 that measure had increased to 87%.  Staff also reported that they felt they were significantly more involved in decisions that affect their work, that they had been encouraged to contribute to developing Service strategy and that they better understood it. Finally, staff also reported that they feel more valued and secure in their employment.

Operating a QMS has concentrated team activity and resources in a way that the Service believes will help them to maintain standards and deliver even more focused continuous improvement. And that measured overall student satisfaction with the accommodation and service provided has just increased from 82% to 82.6% supports that.

Dennis Hopper, the University’s Director of Facilities commented: “Residential Services have developed a Quality Management System that meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and that is no mean feat. As far as I am aware, Residential Services at the University of Leeds are the only university-owned and operated Accommodation Service in the UK who have become compliant to a BSI registered ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standard and we should be extremely proud of that achievement.”

Find out more about the University of Leeds Residential Service on the Accommodation website

Campus Beehives

The University first started having staff and student beekeepers managing hives on campus for non-academic purposes in 2010. Since then, the network of apiaries on campus has grown to include 3 main colonies:

  • The School of Earth and Environment (SEE) apiary, which consists of three national hives
  • The Laidlaw Library roof, which consists of two national hives and one as-yet Unnamed nucleus (nuc) colony
  • The St. George’s Field apiary, which currently has a top-bar colony

The sustainability team have been busy recently extracting and jarring honey from our campus apiaries for sale in some of our campus cafés; Café Maia (the Ziff), Pure (Worsley Building) and the Business School Cafes.

(Only available for as long as stocks last.)





You can find the full story, including details about the full honey extraction process on our sustainability site here:


Latest view of NEXUS

We’re now a year into the development of Nexus and we’re excited to share a live feed of the development, which can be accessed 24/7 on the Campus Developments site.

Nexus will be a high profile gateway to research and innovation at the University and UK-leading environment for collaboration and partnership and now you can watch the 6,684m² giant being constructed in real time.


The story so far…

Take a look at the time-lapse below to see how Nexus has progressed over the past six months.


Find out more about the project and view the live feed on our Campus Developments site here:


Academic venue awards 2017

MEETinLEEDS won three awards at the inaugural Academic Venue Awards at Queen Mary University Of London on November 22nd 2017.

The team scooped the accolades for Best Accommodation, Best Accessibility, and Best Residential Venue.

There were 14 awards in total covering all essential services academic venues offer the events industry. MEETinLEEDS were also nominated for Best Customer Service and Best Conference Venue.


Harriet Boatwright, Sales and Marketing Manager for MEETinLEEDS said:

“I am so proud of my team in the wider conference service for the excellent work they do every day – the awards are a testament to that! The team would all like to thank the other services that work hard behind the scenes that make our events possible – we couldn’t have done it without you!”


For more details on all of the awards we won, you can read the full story here:

Christmas fairtrade craft fair 2017

The University of Leeds has held Fairtrade University status since 2005.  Awarded by the Fairtrade Foundation, this reflects the Universities commitment to promoting and supporting Fairtrade.

As part of this commitment, The University of Leeds holds a bi-annual Fairtrade & Craft Fair, with stalls operated by Fairtrade approved groups, staff, and local companies. The Fair began in 2007 with 15 stalls which grew to over 30 stalls for the last event in March 2017. The donations from the University have contributed towards various projects, such as medical equipment for the Windward Islands Farmers’ Association (WINFA).


The stallholders attending the Fair will be offering a wide spectrum of Fairtrade and Homemade Crafts. Great Food at Leeds will also be there offering raffle tickets, delicious Mulled Wine and festive cakes made from the finest ingredients by our expert chefs, as well as information on how the University contributes to Fairtrade and our commitment to ethically sourced ingredients. We also have a guest appearance by the Staff Choir to sing carols and get us into the Christmas spirit!


To find out more about the fair and some of the stalls that will be attending this year, read the full story here:


People and Planet award 2017 - 1st class

University of Leeds awarded for sustainability

The University of Leeds ranks as the second highest scoring university in the Russell Group, and joint 16th overall, in the tenth People and Planet University League, published this week in The Guardian.

The People and Planet University League is an independent league table of UK universities that ranks institutions by environmental and ethical performance. By setting challenging commitments and targets, the University has made significant progress and have seen a noticeable rise in its positioning in the last few years of the League, rising from 101st overall in 2012. The Leeds Way to sustainability means that we are bold in our ambitions; by being open, inclusive and holistic in our approach.

Dr Louise Ellis, Director of Sustainability said: “Being sustainable is part of who we are at Leeds, we take our responsibilities seriously and are committed to make a positive impact on society.  Our continued good performance in the People and Planet University League, reflects our continued commitment and hard work by our staff and students and it is good to have this recognised externally. We are extremely proud in what we have achieved through integrating our teaching, research and operations through sustainability. We still have work to do, to be truly sustainable we must of long terms aims and commitments, something we have outlined in our vision for a 2050 sustainable university. ”

Hannah Smith, Co-Director Research and Campaigns at People & Planet said: “The University of Leeds continue to impress us with their commitment to environmental and ethical standards by ranking in the top 20 of the UK’s most sustainable universities. This year, Leeds score exceptionally high in carbon emissions and environmental management. University of Leeds prove their commitment to integrating sustainability into teaching and learning – scoring 100% – in one area a university can arguably make the most impact in terms of global sustainability solutions”.

Click here to find out more about Sustainability at the University, and to find out how you can get involved.

Facilities Directorate charity update

Fundraising for our FD charities is going well so far this year with £2,756.87 for Alzheimer’s Society and £1,798.31 for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

A large amount of this money has come from Cleaning Services where Sue Taylor’s team have been putting their small change in a pot and raised £142. Ryan Johnson has also turned his hand at baking and raised £38 hosting a cupcake sale.

We’ve also had a number of people running to support the charities. Stewart Ross (Director of CCSS) and Francesca Shephard from SPA ran the Leeds Half Marathon, with it being Francesca’s first ever running race. Lee-Anne Henderson from cleaning also completed the Leeds 10k and raised a huge amount, over £1,100!

“Reaching that finish line was the most surreal, most amazing experience ever and I now can’t wait to set myself another running challenge!” said Francesca.

Bob Douglass from Estates has raised hundreds of pounds for our charities after completing the Olympic distance Castle Howard Triathlon in July, a fantastic achievement!

Ian Brine, Residence Service Supervisor at Sentinel also took part in the Leeds Half Marathon and contributed towards £6k raised for Leeds Mind (Mental Health Charity), he is also running Yorkshire Marathon October 2017 and fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society.

To find out more about the charities we fundraise for, click here.

SPA Launch Largest Exercise Class Programme

The group exercise class provision is one of the most popular services provided by Sport and Physical Activity and in response to customer feedback the Health and Fitness Team have worked hard to enhance its offer for the start of the 2017 term.

Going from 160 to 220 classes per week during term time, this makes it the largest exercise class offer in the city and one of the largest within higher education across the country.

The team have responded to industry trends and introduced new classes such as Clubbercise, Barre Pilates, Ballet Fit and for the first time ever, 30 minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes taking place on the gym floor. Ideal for members who need a quick workout on their lunchbreak, before or after work and can’t attend the usual 45-60 minute classes on offer.

Another major part of the exciting new development is the introduction of a brand new Virtual Class offer, with Studio 1 at The Edge undergoing a £10k investment turning it into an enhanced training space with a wide range of digitally led exercise classes in addition to the usual instructor-led sessions.

To find out more, click here.

Expanded Cafe Offering for GFAL Across Campus

Great Food at Leeds launch two new cafés on campus: PURE Express and FUSE.

PURE Express – Charles Thackrah

PURE Express is situated in the foyer on the ground floor of Charles Thackrah building and is the little brother of our award-winning café PURE (9th Floor Worsley Building). Offering a unique coffee blend specially commissioned by craft roasters Darkwoods, combining beans from India, Guatemala and Brazil. As with PURE, we are proud to support local businesses and host a range of freshly baked sweet treats, goods courtesy of Caroline’s Cakes of Chapel Allerton offering gluten-free, dairy-free and low-fat options.

PURE Express is a Grab & Go outlet, catering for the hustle and bustle across the western side of campus, particularly in the Business School. There is seating across the foyer as well as outdoor seating if you do fancy staying with us a little longer. With a focus on healthy, field-to-fork food options, PURE Express stocks unique PURE products made fresh on campus each day.


FUSE – School of Chemical and Process Engineering

Our newest café is FUSE (pictured in header). The previous Houldsworth café space was crying out for some TLC, so with the fit out and refurbishment of Houldsworth Building came the exiting opportunity for Great Food at Leeds to improve our café offering even further on the western side of campus. With seating for over 100, Fuse is now one of our largest cafés on campus.

The space offers a social hub and is fast becoming a focal point in the Faculty of Engineering for staff and students to relax from studies, meet friends and collaborate on working projects. The design is bright, airy and welcoming reflecting a modern characterful style that reflects the essence of engineering – problem solvers grounded in science and maths.

With a high concentration of international students, Great Food at Leeds have endeavoured to cater for all and is stocked with an eclectic mix of grab and go food and drinks for everyone at any time of the day to provide sustenance for a working brain! The delicious new Asian hot food offer is already proving to be very popular and the Grumpy Mule coffee beans receiving rave reviews from the caffeine fans!

As with all our outlets, the cafés still run the University’s loyalty scheme, Refresh, meaning the more you spend the more we will reward your custom.


Find out more about the cafés on the Great Food at Leeds website.

Green Light for £96m Engineering and Physical Sciences Building

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, the largest project as part of the recent Campus Developments, has received final planning permission recently and so it’s all-systems-go with the commercial negotiations for tenders.

This will be a flagship building for the University and provide an exceptional environment for students and support researchers from across engineering and physical sciences to work together to help solve fundamental problems and tackle key industry challenges.

To find out more about the plans for the new Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, click here.