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Development work begins on Home Farm workshops

The workshops, based at Brackenhurst Campus, will have asbestos roofs removed and work will reconfigure up to 400 square metres of learning space, among other updates.

The internal teaching and learning space concept designed by Evans Vettori Architects
The internal teaching and learning space concept designed by Evans Vettori Architects

Home Farm – Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) Brackenhurst Campus hub for agricultural studies – is due a makeover.

The original workshops, constructed in 1953, were part of the original Brackenhurst College site which merged with NTU in 1999. The construction’s features are typical of a building of its age: a single storey building with a concrete structural frame, clad in brick, incorporating a corrugated asbestos roof.

Wear and tear over the years, as well as the building’s asbestos roof reaching its end of life are some of the reasons behind development works which began in January 2023.

The Home Farm workshops are currently used by over 700 students across the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences’ (ARES) Further and Higher Education portfolio. The investment in upgrading the existing space will support the School’s targets for current students and future recruitment, enabling growth in the numbers of students able to study agricultural science at NTU.

An aerial view of the existing Home Farm workshops
An aerial view of the existing Home Farm workshops

The planned development will refurbish the current facilities and reconfigure up to 400 sqm of the existing 1,000 sqm workshop space to create more effective, flexible and enhanced teaching and ancillary facilities. The concept for the development has been designed by Evans Vettori Architects, who designed Brackenhurst’s most recent flagship Lyth building.

Existing classrooms are to be reconfigured to create two flexible teaching rooms that can be joined to form one large space for larger capacity teaching and events. In addition, there will be creation of a new foyer, a new practical teaching space, and a new student locker room. This will not only improve the student experience and enable potential student growth; it will also facilitate the development of industry and enterprise opportunities to enhance student employability.

Augmenting existing facilities is preferable, both in terms of value for money and sustainability. These works will not only allow the building to be occupied and used but will also remove asbestos-related health and safety risks and prolong the life of the building by a minimum of 15 - 20 years.

The external development concept designed by Evans Vettori Architects
The external development concept designed by Evans Vettori Architects

Being able to effectively recycle the existing building meets NTU’s sustainability ethos and the building designs are sympathetic to the rural landscape of Brackenhurst campus.

Cat Sanderson, Head of School Operations (ARES) and sponsor for the project, says of the development: "We are thrilled that this development has been approved. The building refurbishment and the reconfiguration of the internal space will enhance our students’ learning experience and support the School’s portfolio refresh and recruitment of new students.

"In addition, it will enable more engagement with industry and the skills sector, underpinning student employability and future careers."

To mitigate the impact on student experience during the works, course practical delivery has been displaced temporarily into the Home Farm Grain Store.  This has meant storing our grain off site for this academic year and the lambing operational and teaching delivery will be undertaken outdoors. The development works are due to be complete in September, ready for the start of the Further Education term.

Published on 15 February 2023
  • Category: Brackenhurst Campus transformation; Environment and sustainability; School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences