FD bulletin

FD Bulletin

Email sent to all FD staff from Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, on Tuesday 3 October.

It’s the start of term and the new academic year, and it’s wonderful to see the campus buzzing with students. I know how much work goes into Welcome Week and into getting buildings and grounds ready: my thanks to everyone for their hard work.

Seeing students back on campus puts a spring in my step because they are the reason we are here. Everything we do is about making sure they have the best opportunities to learn and grow. That includes providing them with safe, clean and inspiring places to live and study in, helping them to feel safe on campus, and encouraging them to look after their health and wellbeing through the many services we provide.

Ready for 2023/24

We made great progress last year, and this year we have plenty more to do! I want to remind you that all our work is guided by our Directorate business plan, which underpins the University’s own Strategy. Every one of you has a part to play in that, including the three directors who are now in place.

As I said in my email to you all last Friday, we have clustered together teams who work closely with each other but will also need to collaborate right across the Directorate if we are to deliver what we have set out in the plan.

Facilities Management Service Desk

One of the FD’s key projects for the year ahead is the implementation of a system to streamline how we deliver a range of services in Estates & Facilities.

Those who have been in the FD a while will have heard this project referred to as ‘Planon’ as that is the name of the company that provides the software. But from now we are calling it the Facilities Management Service Desk (FMSD), which more clearly indicates what it is for.

In the business plan we have committed to ‘deliver our services staying focused on the needs of our communities and on environmental and financial sustainability,’ and the FMSD is listed there as key to delivering this aim. In brief, the new system will:

  • Improve the management and delivery of maintenance jobs
  • Replace an admin-intensive, paper-based system
  • Ensure visibility of all maintenance jobs in one place
  • Allow for a more user-friendly journey

Well-maintained facilities ensure safe working environments, use less energy and produce less waste. It’s important work and a lot of complex activity is going on behind the scenes to get it ready. I’m grateful to the team for all the work on this.

Find out more about the Facilities Management Service Desk.

Net Zero by 2030

One of the strands of the University’s Climate Plan focuses on Net Zero carbon emissions: reaching the target of achieving an overall balance between the greenhouse gas emissions we are producing and the emissions we are taking out of the atmosphere. Largely through Estates & Facilities and Sustainability, the FD has a huge role to play in this, including changing buildings from using gas as a power source to electricity.

The scale of this business-critical work is huge and we are kicking off a series of meetings with potential suppliers this week, to let them know the scope of the work and to get them excited about working with us. This is a really important moment for the FD. Good luck to David Oldroyd our Interim Deputy Director of Development and everyone involved.

Celebrating the success of Cleaning Services

Last week I attended a wonderful event to celebrate the success of Jill Roberts and her Cleaning Services team. Jill was recently given a lifetime achievement award by the British Institute of Cleaning Sciences (BICSc) for her outstanding contribution in the field of education and training.

Typically of Jill, the main focus at the event was on team leaders who have completed the BICSc Cleaning Supervisor training, and I was delighted to share certificates with those hardworking colleagues. My congratulations to all of them.

Wins across the Directorate

There’s so much success to share this month – my congratulations to everyone!

  • Yorkshire in Bloom: the University has retained the Gold award and achieved Category Winner in the Universities & Colleges of Further Education Category.
  • UK Corporate Games 2024: the Conferences & Events team have secured the UK Corporate Games, the largest multi-sport festival for businesses. Scheduled for July, the event brings participants and companies from across the UK and Europe to Leeds, using our wonderful sports facilities.
  • HELIX:  this new facility opened its doors last week, so it’s a good moment to thank the Estates team who led its creation including project manager Sarah Bacsich and interior designer Alex Lilley.
  • Asia-Pacific Student Accommodation Association (APSAA): Rebecca O’ Hare, our Assistant Director for Residence Life & Accommodation Office has won the APSAA Student Accommodation Journal Writers Award.

And finally…

Next Friday we say goodbye to Ian Robertson, Director of Residential & Catering Services. Over 20 years, Ian’s contribution to the University has been huge. He has transformed the quality of student accommodation and led his team to achieve the very highest standards of customer service.

His leadership of Catering and Conferences & Events has brought many wins too. We will all miss Ian but he goes to the University of Bradford with our thanks and very best wishes.


Ann Allen,
Director of Campus Innovation and Development