The University of the Arts London (UAL) has been awarded a government grant of almost £2 million to reduce carbon emissions.

The grant is part of the refurbishment of its Lime Grove campus, which will create a new pre-degree school for art, design, media and fashion in the heart of Shepherds Bush, West London. 

 Following UAL’s decision to move the London College of Fashion graduate courses to Stratford’s East Bank in 2023, the two-acre Lime Grove site was put on the market for sale.

Now, in a boost for creative education, this funding will futureproof the site for UAL’s Foundation course, further education, and pre-degree studies. Students will have the opportunity to explore, experiment, and develop their creativity, and those who successfully complete the Foundation course in art and design will progress to an undergraduate degree at one of UAL’s six iconic colleges.

 The grant is awarded from Phase 3c of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and delivered by Salix Finance. It will support UAL’s net zero carbon targets – as outlined in the university’s Climate Action Plan.

 The funding will be directed towards reducing UAL’s reliance on gas by insulating where possible and installing heat pumps instead of gas boilers. This will reduce carbon emissions and energy costs and improve air quality.

 The site itself is steeped in a long history of arts and culture. A grade II listed building, it has provided creative education and technical skills to young people for over a century. It started with three women’s trade schools specialising in dressmaking, millinery, embroidery, and hairdressing, eventually merging into what became the London College of Fashion, UAL.

The space will bring together all of UAL’s world-leading pre-degree courses in art, media, design, and fashion. In the 2024/25 academic year, most of the university’s pre-degree courses, including the world-famous Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FAD), will move to the site.

 This new School will use the experience and expertise of UAL’s inspiring faculty from across Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, London College of Communication, and Camberwell College of Art to design and deliver innovative contemporary programmes and courses that are inclusive, responsive, and aligned with the university’s social purpose goals.

Kevin Gibbons, director of estates at UAL, said:

“UAL is proud to lead the way for higher education in the UK with our bold pledge to achieve net zero across our total carbon footprint by 2040. Last year, we were ranked the fourth greenest UK university by the People & Planet Green League.  

“This generous grant will greatly improve our sustainable operations at Lime Grove, allowing us to build on our track record of carbon reduction whilst underpinning our commitment to climate-focused action to change the way we live, teach and work.”

Ian Rodger, director of programmes at Salix Finance, added:

“We are proud to support the University of the Arts, London, with their decarbonisation works at Lime Grove.

“It is an extensive and exciting programme of works which will certainly support the university on their journey to a net zero future, as well as making the buildings better places to work and study and improving air quality at the college.”


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