• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

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University £8million transformation to create a centre of health excellence is officially opened


The University of Sunderland’s £8million transformation project to create a centre of health excellence in the heart of the city has been officially opened.

Murray Health is the new home of the University’s School of Medicine and School of Psychology, reflecting the University’s growing commitment to expanding its health sciences programmes.

University Chancellor, Leanne Cahill, was joined by former SAFC Chairman, and the visionary behind the Stadium, Academy and Beacon of Light, Sir Bob Murray, for the opening.

Sir Bob’s passion and commitment to education led him to generously donate money in 2001 to support the then Chester Road Library, which was renamed Murray Library – and now Murray Health.

The building has been undergoing extensive refurbishment work in recent months to provide excellent teaching and learning facilities for students and staff.

This investment in Murray Health represents a major step-change in the University’s ambitions, building on the £75 million already invested in facilities in the last five years. It is also aligned to Sunderland City Council’s bold programme of regeneration across the city.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said: “We are delighted that Sir Bob Murray will return to the University as we rename our former library as Murray Health. We are honoured too that the University’s recently appointed Chancellor, Leanne Cahill, will be present at the renaming ceremony, on her first visit to the City Campus since being installed in her new role at the Stadium of Light in November.

“The University’s work is central to improving the city, the region and the nation as we educate and train the next generation of health professionals. We do that in outstanding facilities to ensure that our students are as ready as they can be to work in the NHS and other healthcare settings”.

The School of Medicine, which was established at the University in 2019, has its home on Level Three of the building, with the School of Psychology based on Level Two. The Library@Murray is on Level One.

The new building includes a 120-person Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Space, Silent Study Zone, student breakout spaces, a bespoke examination suite, and staff agile working areas.

Chancellor of the University, Leanne Cahill, said: “As a former student here, it is something of a full-circle moment to come back and open this exciting new centre.

“The University’s ambitions to educate, train and inspire the health professionals of tomorrow reflects the overall ethos at Sunderland to create highly skilled, professions-facing and society-shaping graduates.”

The redevelopment also includes work on sustainability enhancements to the building, including solar paneling, to help support the University’s commitment to carbon reduction and net zero targets.

Sir Bob Murray said: ““I was personally honoured when the University bestowed the naming of its library after me in Sunderland. As an advocate of the power of education to change lives this resonated deeply with me.

“Since that time the University’s ambitions have been bold and expansive, and the opening of this centre of health excellence to support the new School of Medicine and School of Psychology underlines this and its role as a ‘future shaper’ in the region.

“It gives me enormous pleasure to see my name allied with such a prestigious institution in the city and it is humbling to think how many lives will be changed in the future because of those that pass-through Murray Health.”