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FD Bulletin: April 2023

Email sent to all FD staff from Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, on Friday 28 April.

This time of year always bring a fresh burst of energy with it and there has been some fantastic activity here in the FD. Seeing our business plan – Our Way Ahead – come to life is very exciting. Thank you to everyone for your efforts.

New brand for Conferencing

The Conferences team have been especially busy and this week launched their new brand. MEETinLEEDS has become ‘University of Leeds Conferences and Events’. This change brings the service’s identity closer to the main University brand to reap the benefits of the strong recognition that we have as a world-class institution.  

The new brand was showcased at our Cloth Hall Court venue in the city centre on Monday as the team hosted the welcome event for the Conference Hospitality Show Leeds. I was so impressed by the positive buzz in the room about the service we offer and about the venue itself. This represents a fantastic new commercial opportunity for the University. Congratulations to Sam Glenister-Batey and his team.

Commercial success

Maximising opportunities such as Cloth Hall Court and the wider work of the Conferences team to deliver positive commercial contributions to the University is core to Aim Three of our business plan. I want to stress once again that this plan forms the blueprint for everything we do and has two questions at its heart: how do we work together to get smarter with our essential day-to-day service delivery, and how can we do more to help the University deliver its Strategy? Our Way Ahead gives us a clear focus for the next three years.

Staff Voice

I enjoyed chatting to many of you at the FD Staff Social on Tuesday, especially about the launch of the Staff Voice. The People & Culture group have worked at pace on this because defining our culture is the core activity for this year for Aim One of the business plan.  Please do read more about the group and consider applying to be an Ambassador or a Champion. There’s a very short form online or a paper copy will be available from your line manager. It’s your chance to get involved! Thank you to Jane Clayton and the Staff Voice group for all their work.

Single-use plastics

Work to address single-use plastic (SUP) in University operations is continuing via the Plastics Programme. This aligns to the Climate Plan objectives and builds on the Plastic pledge. Many areas across the FD including Catering, Cleaning and Residences have already been instrumental in achieving significant reductions in their SUP. Thank you to all involved for your sustained efforts on this. Please do get behind this work and contact Claire Booth if you have any questions.

Digital innovation

Last week the University hosted the international Digital Universities UK Conference. It was a great opportunity to showcase how the FD creates amazing spaces to enables the success of students and staff. We were able to provide delegates with a preview of HELIX, a new space in E.C Stoner filled with state-of-the-art digital equipment. I can’t wait to see what comes out of there!

I’m also excited to see the progress made with the hybrid meeting rooms project. You may have have noticed new equipment in some of our meeting rooms prior to the pilot beginning next month. This is the start of work to provide a streamlined and efficient service for everyone in the University booking meeting rooms.

Both of these projects are part of our activity to create places that are sustainable, inspiring and creative.

A quick update on the three new Director-level roles that we are recruiting for. I’ve been thrilled with the amount of interest and with the quality of the applicants. The closing date has now passed and the interviewing process is in train. I look forward to telling you more in due course.

Finally, congratulations to Theresa Fahy and Stephanie Bligh from Cleaning Services. They recently clocked up 872,538 steps and raised over £1000 for Cancer Research UK’s ‘Walk all Over Cancer’. Brilliant work!

Ann Allen,
Director of Campus Innovation and Development