Strategy 2025

Estate and IT strategies and roadmaps

Following approval of the Estate and IT strategies in 2019, work is ongoing to finalise roadmap plans and priorities for capital investment on campus.

Council, the governing body for the University, approved the two strategies at its autumn term meeting in November 2019. The Estates and IT roadmaps, which detail the costs and resources needed to fulfil the key strategic goals, will go to Council for approval in March 2020.

Tim Westlake, Chief Operating Officer, says: “We clearly need to fix some IT fundamentals, and a recent condition survey highlighted the need for investment in the campus estate.”

“The two strategies articulate the ambition and challenge around the estate and IT, and they aim to enable appropriate and timely developments and renovations to deliver our academic and student experience priorities. Our overriding priority is clearly to assess what work needs to be done first and most urgently.”

Estates and IT Services are working together on the recommendations for priorities in investment.

Capital funding

The main source of funding for future investment has to come from surplus generated by the University. Director of Finance Allan Spencer says: “That’s why our Council has agreed we need to achieve an annual surplus of around 7%, which is a surplus of circa £20 to £30 million.”

“Together with our current cash balances, these surpluses may provide up to £300 million for us to invest between now and 2025, in both estates and IT infrastructure.”

“While this may seem like we have a lot to invest, we know already from our detailed investigations that there is around £800 million worth of possible options identified - so as a community we have some tough decisions to make.”

Staff input and feedback

Feedback from staff at a series of workshops and webinars in the autumn term 2019 demonstrated a general consensus to focus on the basics first, and get them right. This would include, for example, a continued emphasis on compliance and maintenance, so that buildings and IT systems are both legal and fit for purpose.

IT and Estates Strategy Presentation [PPT 7.77MB]

Staff who attended the six workshops and two webinars highlighted the need to improve all buildings to a certain basic level – and then upgrade each one on a case-by-case basis. They also recognised the importance of both sustainability and accessibility – although these would need to be looked at within the context of available funding.

As discussions continue before the Estates and IT roadmaps go to Council for approval in March 2020, we want to hear your views; email phaseone@sussex.ac.uk to have your say on the priorities for capital investment.