The University of Bedfordshire has opened a £40m STEM building at its Luton campus.
The new building was opened by Lord Robert Winston and is part of a five-year £180m investment scheme to regenerate the university’s estate.
This scheme included Bedfordshire’s new postgraduate and CPD centre, a £25m teaching and learning gateway building at its Bedford campus, and a £46m seven-floor library in Luton.
The new STEM facility is a 6000m2 teaching space that will be used by over 30 courses, including pharmaceutical and chemical science, nutrition, biochemistry, and mechanical engineering. Since 2016, Bedfordshire has launched 30 new STEM courses, which precipitated the need for larger facilities.
The building is also home to a Science and Engineering Outreach Centre, designed to promote the value of science and engineering to local schools and the wider community.
Bill Rammell, vice-chancellor at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “Opening this spectacular new building marks the start of a new focus for the University of Bedfordshire as we scale up our STEM offer with state-of-the art science facilities.
“The STEM building will also serve as an icon for the town, symbolising our commitment to skills, scientific discovery and an unimaginable future. It incorporates a public outreach facility, enabling us to promote careers in science and engage with business and the local community to match regional skills needs, drive aspiration and build scientific knowledge.”
The four-storey building is fitted with solar panels capable of producing 60,000kwh of zero carbon energy each year.
Other recent developments include new facilities in the computing and media departments; a newly refurbished law moot court; a specialist building for the school of art and design; new laboratories for psychology, sport and exercise science, biomedical science and forensics; and industry-standard radio studios, broadcast facilities and newsroom.