Work begins to transform Freemen’s Common

The transformation of the Freemen’s Common area, at the University of Leicester, has begun.

A ground breaking event began with an opening speech from President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Nishan Canagarajah who said: “This is about creating a new neighbourhood for our students as well as for the wider community.

“It is wonderful to hear what is in store for this site and I am sure it will provide top-notch facilities for students as well as community spaces, including a café and the car park, which will be open to the public.

“We want a welcoming environment for people to live in, to socialise in and to work in. This flagship project signals our ambition to giving students the best facilities and the best possible experience.

“Our purpose is to create a better society for those who come after us, to use the power of higher education to shape lives, and this project is a key aspect of our commitment to the future.”

The comprehensive £150m redevelopment of the Freemen’s Common site, which is part of the University’s wider plan to develop the University campus, will create a “welcoming new neighbourhood for students to live, study and socialise.”

The plans for the development include residences for around 1,200 students; a café for both students and the wider community; a new 550-space multi-storey car park; a landmark Teaching and Learning Centre; as well as the sensitive refurbishment and extension of the Grade II-listed Freemen’s Cottages as the centrepiece of the scheme.

The transformation is set for completion in 2021 with students living in the new Freemen’s Common city in autumn 2021.