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Our Way Ahead

Introduction from Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation & Development

Welcome to the first Facilities Directorate three-year business plan.

Across the Directorate much of our time is spent on delivery of services – critical work that enables the University to operate and progress. Through this work, we connect with staff and students and the wider city and region.

This activity is about keeping the lights on and is essential.

As a dynamic and diverse group, we are also constantly challenging ourselves to do new things and improve how we work. Our expertise is required across the University.

Add to this the fact that we have been in crisis management mode in recent years – like many others in the University – and I believe it is time to pause and re-set.

How do we work together to get smarter with our essential day-to-day service delivery?

How can we do more to help the University deliver its Strategy: Universal Values, Global Change 2020-2030?

Our Way Ahead gives us a clear focus for the next three years.

Our Way Ahead gives us a clear focus for the next three years.

It sets out our aims and objectives and how we will deliver them. It helps all of us in the Directorate to understand what we have the capacity to deliver, and it will mean we can be clear on the impact of requests for new projects.

The plan is focused on people, impact and ways of working.

The plan is focused on people, impact and ways of working.

It identifies key initiatives, including Net Zero by 2030, a programme to ‘reimagine’ the campus, and the development of inspirational learning, teaching and workplace spaces. It is underpinned by the University’s values and a commitment to support everyone who works in the FD by developing an inclusive culture that ensures everyone feels valued.

We know that to deliver on our new plan we may need new skillsets and the Directorate is committed to providing training and development to support people as they try new ideas and new ways of working.

I strongly believe that we need to work together as one directorate, not a collection of services, and that we have a huge amount to learn from each other and the incredible array of skill and talent across the institution.

As we look to our way ahead, I want us to be strategic, realistic and innovative in our approach.

As we look to our way ahead, I want us to be strategic, realistic and innovative in our approach.

As a directorate that works collaboratively, we will achieve our goals over the next three years and beyond. Most importantly, by supporting and enabling the University Strategy, we will help students and staff to flourish, succeed and make a difference.

Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation & Development
February 2023

Aspirations: Vision, opportunities & progress


A shared vision informs our work and ensures we all keep to the same path.

  • we will create amazing places, spaces and experiences on campus;
  • they will be sustainable, inspirational, innovative and inclusive;
  • we want everyone – all of you, and everyone who uses the campus – to feel that they belong.

Our work – creating, delivering and maintaining the fabric of the University – helps everyone to fulfil their potential.


Looking forward, we want to make the most of these opportunities by:
  • developing an inclusive culture across the FD
  • partnering with colleagues across the University to deliver new strategies for the campus and sustainability
  • delivering cross functional services to improve experience
  • using digitalisation to improve efficiency
  • improving commercial returns
  • improving communications across the wider University communities


We are clear about what will be achieved each year so that we can maintain momentum and build on progress

  • 2022/2023

    • we will have started to describe what one FD means, completed significant operational projects and have a delivery plan for Net Zero by 2030.
  • 2023/2024

    • we will have defined the culture we want
    • we will be developing skills in collaboration and partnership
    • we will have started to deliver net zero
    • we will know how we want to use data and digital to deliver better services and buildings


  • 2024/2025

    • we will have developed the skills needed for delivering shared services propositions
    • we will have created a plan to deliver a campus plan which promotes innovative places and experiences which are sustainable and inclusive
    • we will have new data management systems and be making progress with net zero
  • 2025/2026

    • we will have a single inclusive culture across all of the FD
    • we will be digitally enabled as a Directorate; using data to inform evidence based decisions
    • we will be delivering innovative teaching, workspace and net zero and rationalising the campus
    • services will focus on to delivering a great experiences for our staff and students.


Our values

Our values provide a backbone for our vision and ways of working. They mirror those of the University.

  • Collaboration

    We work together to achieve our goals and ambitions.

  • Compassion

    We are caring and considerate in our words and actions.

  • Inclusivity

    We are a community where everyone is welcome and belongs.

  • Integrity

    We are open and honest in our words and actions.

Aims & actions

Aim 1: People & culture

We will develop our culture so that our people can thrive and succeed.

We will:

  • provide clear expectations, purpose and values
  • reward and recognise staff both as individuals and team members
  • address skill, ability and knowledge gaps that exist
  • continue to ensure all staff work in an environment which puts health, safety and wellbeing at the front of mind
  • define and embed the culture
  • encourage continuous improvement
  • seek improvement by encouraging new ideas
  • demonstrate how we value our people
  • improve staff engagement

What actions are needed to achieve aim 1 and develop our culture?


  • establish a staff voice
  • establish a leadership forum for the Facilities Directorate

Structures and capacity

  • develop a permanent leadership team structure

Training & development

  • start to review skill sets


  • engage with EDI Strategy

Aim 2: Impact, experiences & community

We will create places that are sustainable, inspiring and inclusive, and that foster a sense of belonging. We support and encourage aspiration. We will do this by:

Developing a campus and other spaces – including sport and residential – that are:

  • carbon net zero by 2030
  • informed by data and university lead research
  • comprised of innovative workspaces, teaching and learning spaces, and research spaces
  • support wellbeing
  • right-sized and designed for today and the future
  • curated to deliver a unique experience

We will do this by:

  • Shaping how services might be realigned to focus on experience. These will be co-created with university communities
  • In collaboration with research colleagues to lead the discussion on sustainability and climate to develop strategies for sustainability, biodiversity and plans for single use plastics and resilience

What actions are needed to achieve aim 2?

Campus plan & space proposals

  • launch road map for Campus Reimagined and secure resources
  • develop hybrid meeting room proposals
  • develop plan for five-year supply of residential accommodation
  • develop solutions for space pressures

Digital improvements

  • improve booking systems for residential, events and meeting rooms
  • improve Residence Life digital comms and engagement with development of new online hub

Capital projects

  • deliver approved projects – fire safety
  • complete the Digital Accelerator
  • detail proposals for infrastructure investment

Enhancing customer services

  • pilot locking & access policies

Net Zero & sustainability

  • develop business case for Net Zero Retrofit Programme
  • reset Single Use Plastic Plan
  • optioneering of GSC

Aim 3: Effectiveness, efficiency & financial resilience

We will deliver our services staying focused on the needs of our communities and on environmental and financial sustainability.

We will do this by:

  • Focusing our services to reflect the expectations, needs and experience of students, staff and the wider University communities while ensuring they operate in an efficient and sustainable way.
  • Shaping our services to be focused on the experience of the user, continually looking at opportunities to improve service delivery.
  • Demonstrating that our services represent value for money by benchmarking and introducing quality management
  • Managing risk and demonstrating that our services are resilient and support campus operation.
  • Developing data and information management systems to enable evidence-based design.
  • Ensuring services are prioritised in line with financial budgets.
  • Maximising opportunities to deliver positive commercial contributions to the University through providing the right services, at the right price point, delivered efficiently and which enhance the experience of everyone that uses them.

What actions are needed to achieve aim 3?

Enhanced process & digital improvements

  • complete Planon for Facilities
  • agree process and ownership of meeting room management

Net Zero & sustainability

  • award new waste contract

Improving quality of service

  • develop business case for improved security infrastructure
  • replace the residential maintenance contract
  • complete FM Realigned

Measuring performance

  • develop an FD reporting structure
  • complete business continuity planning for all FD
  • incident management

What’s next?

Every team will have an opportunity to feedback and ask questions about Our Way Ahead through a series of events starting in February. Look out for those dates.

To achieve our aims and objectives we need to collaborate: it will make all our jobs easier and our activity more impactful.

To enable that to happen three new senior leadership positions are being introduced and there will be some re-grouping of services.

The People & Culture group has been established and has had its first meeting.