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Univ North nursery tour

On 5 November, a group of College staff, Old Members and students came together for the first of our tours of the Univ North site. This time, the focus was on the new nursery – an integral part of our multigenerational site.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the site of Univ North. The proposals were very well explained on the day, and the planned development looks really impressive: it will be great to see it taking shape.” Philip Bernie (History, 1980).

On a chilly Friday afternoon, members of the Univ Development Office, Development Director Gordon Cox and Domestic Bursar Angela Unsworth MBE welcomed a number of Old Members and students to the Redcliffe-Maud house at the Stavertonia site. Over an informal lunch, guests enjoyed a presentation from Gordon that provided a general overview of the plans in place for the project. This included the proposed phasing and some humorous anecdotes from behind the scenes of the planning stages.

The lead was then passed to the Domestic Bursar. She gave some more specific information on the new nursery and the benefits it would bring for members of the Univ community the wider Oxford University community and the local community. Attendees were given an insight into some of the decision-making processes that have shaped this exciting project.

The group stepped outside for the walking tour of the site. Gordon pointed out which of the buildings would remain as they were, which would be renovated and the position of new structures and the way they would fit into the existing landscape. Moving from Banbury Road, past the retirement home, through to Woodstock Road highlighted the size of the site and the potential for stunning green spaces. Many noted this throughout the afternoon.

“As a current student, I found the tour a great insight into a project that will redefine the experience of those studying at Univ. I was most impressed by the high level of detail we were given on the tour, which even covered the specific types of plants that will be introduced to achieve a net biodiversity gain at Univ North. Univ North will be a fantastic addition to the College and I’m very excited to see it start to become reality in 2022!” Sam Williamson, JCR President (Engineering, 2020).

Angela took the reins once again to guide the group through the orchard. She talked extensively about the plans in place to revive the outdoor spaces at Univ North. You can read more about our relationship with The Wildlife Trusts here.

The final stop of the tour was at the house designed by, and formerly belonging to, architect Jeremy Beard. This house will be renovated and form a section of the nursery, with its shape informing the innovative design of the complete structure. The nursery garden stood out as a particularly beautiful outdoor space, its autumnal colours glowing.

“I found the Univ North visit both highly informative and very interesting. Clearly, an enormous amount of care, creativity and hard work is going into the project, which I’m absolutely sure will pay off for future generations of Univ members.” Alastair Lack (History, 1964).

We would love for you to join us for our next tour on Friday 3 December. It will focus on project planning and implementation and will be hosted by Dr Andrew Grant, Finance Bursar and Gordon Cox, Director of Development. Sign up here.

Find out more about our previous and upcoming Univ North tours.

Read more about the College’s vision for a second community on the Univ North microsite.

Published: 25 November 2021

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