The University of Sunderland’s £ 8 million project to transform the former Murray Library into a centre of health excellence is set for completion this month.

The building, on Chester Road, at City Campus, has been undergoing extensive refurbishment work in recent months and will include a permanent home for the School of Psychology and the University’s School of Medicine. To reflect its new focus, the building will be known as Murray Health.

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

Once complete, the building will accommodate the School of Medicine, which was established at the University in 2019, on Level Three, and the School of Psychology on Level Two. The Library@Murray will be on Level One.

Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said: “The University of Sunderland has, in recent years, established a formidable regional and national reputation for the work it does in preparing the health professionals of tomorrow.

“Murray Health demonstrates our continuing commitment to provide state-of-the-art facilities for our students, ensuring that they leave us very well prepared for future service in the NHS and elsewhere.”

The newly refurbished building will provide innovative and state-of-the-art facilities for the School of Medicine, including a 120-person Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Space, Silent Study Zone, student breakout spaces, and staff agile working areas.

Professor Scott Wilkes, Head of School of Medicine and Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Sunderland, said: “It is truly wonderful to see the delivery of the new medical school which will support the ambitions of the medical students and staff. I know that we are all very excited to move in. It is a momentous time for us as we move towards final approval from the General Medical Council early next year.”

The new School of Psychology area provides a 60-person IT Skills Lab incorporating the General Medical Council (GMC) Exam Space, digital 1-2-1 spaces, Silent Study zones, 30-person seminar rooms, and student breakout spaces.

Dr Rebecca Owens, Acting Head of the School of Psychology, said: “The School of Psychology is delighted to have a space to call home in the Murray Health building.

“We are excited to be able to develop the cohort of our future health professionals in psychology, counselling and public health, and we recognise the University’s investment in supporting this. This will not only allow us to strengthen and develop provisions now but gives us the space and resources to be able to grow and develop our provision in order to keep up with developments in our respective fields.”

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

Access to all areas in the building will be via the main entrance off Chester Road.

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