The halfway point has been marked in Oxford University Development’s (OUD) remarkable Life and Mind Building.

The NBBJ-designed building will deliver 268,000 sq ft of research, teaching and innovation space, part of 400,000 sq ft of life sciences space already under construction by OUD, a £4 billion joint venture between the university and Legal & General

As well as the Life and Mind Building, OUD developing a residential-led scheme to the south of Oxford, including 70 homes for graduate students and their families, while the masterplan for its 190-hectare mixed-use Begbroke Innovation District is moving forward.

A further five sites have also been added to the partnership.

Anna Strongman, chief executive of OUD, said: “To reach this point, not only on the Life and Mind Building, but across a number of projects in such a short timescale is testament to the scale of OUD’s ambition. We are focused on delivering socially sustainable developments for all in Oxford and also aim to set a new bar for university-backed development.”

“By around 2035 OUD expects to have delivered around 1.6 million sq ft of university space, around 3,000 new homes for graduate students, researchers, university and college staff and their families and the wider Oxford community, a host of new parks, squares, schools, playgrounds, cafes, community spaces and other amenities; and a net zero carbon estate.”

Mike Coplowe, senior development manager, Legal & General said: “Universities are a key driver for the growth of cities, acting as a magnet for talent and incubator of growth and innovation. They have an integral role in shifting the dial for future success. Great universities also need an economic, physical and digital infrastructure to create an ecosystem to attract people and businesses.

“Topping out at the Life and Mind Building is a significant milestone for our partnership with the University of Oxford.  Legal & General is committed to investing in the UK education and life sciences sector, and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved so far through OUD.

“The partnership is specifically aimed at driving investment into world-leading innovation, while attracting and retaining talent on a global playing field. To achieve this, we are matching these facilities with an equal drive in delivering much needed housing and amenities for the people that keep Oxford innovating.”

The Life and Mind Building will be home to the Department of Experimental Psychology and a new Department of Biology, combining the existing Departments of Plant Sciences and Zoology. It includes research facilities for 800 students and 1,200 researchers.

The scheme is due for completion next year.

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