University of Suffolk - Director of Estates



Director of Estates

CONTENTS 4 Executive Summary 6 University Profile 12 Strategic Estates Framework 20 Job Description 24 Application Process

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The University of Suffolk is strongly embedded in our local region, and our unique and integrated partnership with our regional stakeholders is central to our identity. Our plans to deliver national and international impact through teaching, research and innovation will bring increased recognition, wealth and opportunity to the region. The student experience is at the heart of what we do, and the partnership between students and staff is one of the University’s key strengths. Our students experience the highest quality in teaching, learning and social environments. Scholarship and high impact research is pervasive within the institution, and we offer our students a transformational experience. As a relatively newly-established university, we have ambitious plans for growth. We keep a very close eye on student recruitment trends and anticipate the point where our projected growth will enable us to realise our long-term vision of a marina-based campus in the heart of Ipswich. The principal purpose of our Estate Strategy will be to proactively deliver and maintain a cost effective, fit for purpose and inspirational higher education campus that will attract students to study at the University of Suffolk as well as contributing significantly to their experience through the provision of high-quality student facilities. To achieve this, changes will be required in the coming years, the delivery of which will require us to explore options including the construction of new buildings and the upgrading of existing buildings. Close collaboration with our stakeholders to understand and deliver to their needs and the wider interests of the region will inform and assist in our future campus development.


Director of Estates

We will continue to enhance the utilisation of all our buildings and deliver improvements in energy consumption and carbon emissions. In delivering facilities and services to staff and students, high service standards will be maintained including an appropriate balance of in-house and contracted- out provision. Our previous estate strategies have focussed on the establishment of the University in Ipswich, including the construction of statement buildings in a marina setting. The University continues to hold land on the Ipswich Waterfront for further development, subject to demand which will largely be driven by student numbers. We will also look for opportunities to develop innovative partnerships to help facilitate campus development. We look forward to working with a Director of Estates who will share our ambition for growth and expansion, but who will also understand the importance of delivering high quality campus services and facilities which has such an important part to play in the experience of our students, staff and visitors.

Professor Helen Langton Vice-Chancellor, University of Suffolk

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Having been awarded full university status in 2016, the University of Suffolk is the one of the newest independent UK higher education institutions. The University is governed by a Board of Directors with formal decision-making conducted through academic and executive governance structures. Before August 2016 the University was known as University Campus Suffolk (UCS). UCS was launched in 2007 by the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia together with strategic partners of Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, The East of England Development Agency and Suffolk New College. One of the primary drivers for setting up UCS was that Suffolk is a ‘cold spot’ in higher education participation, and was one of the few counties in the UK without dedicated HE provision. Today the University works with a range of regional, national and international partners, broadening its reach whilst continuing to deliver to its local market from its Ipswich campus and through its regional partners.

The University of Suffolk is committed to supporting and encouraging students in aspiring to higher education, succeeding on their course, and progressing into employment or postgraduate study. The University was originally created to provide higher education to the people of Suffolk, and while the reach of the University has grown, we remain committed to working with our local communities to ensure both young and mature students alike are aware of their local opportunities for studying.


Director of Estates

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The University aims to be a beacon of excellence attracting students from Suffolk and beyond, helping to reverse the net export of graduates and the low post-16 education participation rate, which has adversely affected Suffolk for many years. Widening participation continues to be central to the mission of the University, and the profile of its student population reflects this. We have a high proportion of students from under-represented groups, and there is a broad mix of students across the undergraduate student body. We are pleased with the progress being made against the ambitious targets set for student access, success and progression. The University’s performance in access of POLAR4 Quintile 1 students is very good, reflecting our commitment to and achievements in widening participation. The proportion of 18 year olds and all full-time students at the University is higher than the proportion across the sector. The student body is diverse and inclusive with 16.67% studying part- time and 57.57% classed as mature (over 21) in 2019/20. 14.87% of students in 2019/20 were from an ethnic origin that is not White or White British/Irish/Scottish/Welsh. In 2019/20, 21.09% of our students disclosed a disability and 8.39% were in receipt of the Disabled Students Allowance.


Director of Estates

The majority of our students are from the eastern region with 52.72% from the IP postcode area in 2019/20. Despite the image of Suffolk being one of affluence, 50 of Suffolk’s Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) are ranked in the most deprived 20% areas in the country, and 22 LSOAs are ranked in the lowest 10%. These are almost all in Ipswich and Waveney.

A report for the Seckford Foundation ‘Young people and progression in rural Suffolk’ (2017) found that half (54%) of Suffolk Wards had lower progression into HE than expected (HEFCE). 24% of 16-64 year olds have a degree or equivalent and above compared to 29.5% in East of England and 33.1 in England (2012-19). Ipswich is one of 12 opportunity areas identified by the Department for Education as an area most challenged when it comes to social mobility. According to Suffolk County Council data, young people in Ipswich are more likely to be not in employment, education or training (NEET) than nationally.

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The University is also part of the neaco (Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach) project. Funded by the OfS, the University leads the Suffolk element of the neaco consortia, which aims to increase participation and attainment into HE, working with target schools/colleges and students in Suffolk. We will continue to focus on curriculum areas that are closely aligned with the regional economic and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) priorities particularly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), and those other areas that will support the local economy. We are working with Suffolk County Council on the Suffolk STEM Accelerator which will work with young people and schools to raise participation in STEM subjects both at school and in post-compulsory education and stimulate interest in STEM employment opportunities. The Good Hons rate (number of Honours students on first degrees achieving a 1st of 2:1) for the Ipswich campus has increased from 65.4% in 2017/18 to 68.1% in 2018/19.


Director of Estates

The University consists of four schools of study: The School of Health and Sports Sciences; The School of Social Sciences and Humanities; The School of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology; and The Suffolk Business School.

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Strategic Drivers for Campus Development The work undertaken on the University’s strategic plan over the past twelve months has identified the following key priorities which will inform the future development of our estate strategy: 1. a need to rationalise current space usage across the estate to better reflect subject/disciplinary areas, and to create capacity for future portfolio expansion in a contiguous way; 2. an urgent need to provide increased space for specialist teaching (particularly in health disciplines) to improve the student offer and experience; 3. a need to provide capacity for future growth, noting this is most likely to take the form of incremental increases, rather than very large year on year growth of the total population. 12 Director of Estates

Rationalising the estate The broader thinking over the University’s future estate has been developed alongside its portfolio planning, and has resulted in the proposal to establish the principle of four ‘quarters’ on the Ipswich campus: • Creative and Digital (based around the recently refurbished Arts Building, and noting the completion of The Hold on campus in 2020); • Business (creating a dedicated hub for business-facing activities and courses in the Atrium Building, including IWIC); • Science (based in the James Hehir Building, but noting the current constraints on space due to the co-location with many health programmes); • Health and Wellbeing (currently based in various locations across the campus including the James Hehir Building, but currently without an identifiable ‘home’. The four quarters approach is not intended to be a subject-exclusive one, ie. the risk of subject ‘silos’ being created is acknowledged and will be avoided. Quite the opposite, cross-disciplinary teaching and inter-school collaboration forms an important part of our thinking in the implementation of the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy. Rather, the purpose of the approach is to provide a clearer framework for our space planning, lengthen the planning horizon and enable schools to play a more engaged role in the future use of the estate.

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Rationalising the estate continued The establishment of the first two quarters (Creative and Digital, Business) is relatively straightforward and can largely be achieved by making adjustments to the student timetable and will be aided by the recent academic restructure. For example, the restructure strengthens the links between the Suffolk Business School and the Business Engagement and Entrepreneurship directorate, centred on the Atrium including IWIC. The remaining two quarters (Science, Health and Wellbeing) will require more planning to achieve, as the relevant subject areas currently occupy the same parts of the campus. The currently planned refurbishment of the East Building should provide space for the rationalisation of facilities and future growth. Beyond that, the Waterfront Building will continue to be used largely for general purpose teaching and to house services to students such as Infozone. It should be noted that existing operational pressure on space has already led the University to take out leases in adjacent buildings to house professional services staff (Neptune Marina and Sir Thomas Slade Court). Whilst this has worked reasonably well, it has its disadvantages and adds cost which might be avoided if an alternative solution can be found.

Finally, the Digitech development at Innovation Martlesham in partnership with BT and funded by NALEP will provide dedicated space to support a skills accelerator project, and strong links will be established with our on-campus digital provision and business engagement activities. Whilst this is helpful to the University’s development in these areas, it does not help to address some of the pressures on our current estate. 14 Director of Estates

Increasing specialist teaching space Whilst the University has some excellent learning and teaching facilities and has an annual investment programme which aims to keep our student offer competitive in the sector, we need to ensure that this remains true for all subject areas. Health subjects are specifically targeted for growth in our portfolio planning, with strong growth potential for sports sciences and new courses such as physiotherapy under consideration. Further opportunities exist in counselling and psychotherapy, paramedic science and noting that the NHS plans to expand the availability of student placements to facilitate more nurse (c6,000) and allied health practitioner training places (c1,000). The scope for the University to capitalise on these opportunities is limited by our current estate.

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Providing capacity for growth The opportunities and limitations related to growing our health provision have been outlined above, and other courses with growth potential include wildlife and conservation, biology, psychology, criminology, and policing and prison officer training. We must be ambitious in our plans but also acknowledge the environment in which we operate and we must balance the financial risks associated with large scale campus investment. Equally, however, given the planning and delivery timescales for such developments, we need to make timely decisions if we are to be ready to meet the expected sharp demographic upturn starting in 2 to 3 years’ time. In short, we must be ensure our planning decisions in the short term are geared to deliver our strategic aims in the future and secure our long-term sustainability.


Director of Estates

Candidate Brochure 17



Job Title

Director of Estates





Within range £62,309 to £72,802 per annum




Scale point

51 to 56

Contract status


This is a full-time post and the hours of work are such as are necessary to carry out the duties of the post

Hours of work


Optional Contributory pension scheme

Annual Leave entitlement

30 days plus Bank Holidays

Corporate, Departmental and Personal Development Programme opportunities

Staff Development

Responsible to

Chief Operating Officer


Director of Estates

Purpose of the job To lead the Estates Directorate and further develop and oversee the implementation of the Estates strategy for the University, ensuring alignment with the University of Suffolk’s overall mission and strategy. The role includes membership of the University’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) which works collectively to develop, oversee and deliver the University strategy. As a budget holder for Estates and facilities, the role holder will also contribute to broader resource decisions and planning as a member of SLT. The Director of Estates has overall responsibility for corporate H&S management, capital projects, sustainability, and maintenance and services. Candidate Brochure 21


Main Duties & Responsibilities:

1. Lead the Estates Directorate, providing clarity of purpose, including necessary and appropriate line management support, and ensuring appropriate systems are in place to meet statutory and corporate reporting requirements. 2. Establish and maintain a strategic overview of the Ipswich campus, and associated premises, including condition, value, functionality, flexibility and potential. 3. Develop and maintain strategic Estates plans, ensuring that the land bank and buildings meet current and projected needs. 4. Oversee the management and delivery of capital projects for the University, ensuring the engagement of key project stakeholders and reporting progress to SLT and the Executive. Monitor the external political and funding horizon, as well as the internal strategic agenda, ensuring the University is best placed to benefit from funding and/or development opportunities. 5. Ensure that Facilities Management services are user-focussed, cost effective and appropriate, with an effective balance between reactive and proactive services. 6. Ensure that sustainability is incorporated into all Estates activity, in particular the planning of small and major capital projects, funding bids and staff and student awareness and services.


Director of Estates

7. Ensure capital projects are well managed, using an appropriate mix of in house and external resources, managing cost, quality and function. 8. Providing leadership and management to staff in the Estates team to ensure that effective recruitment, induction, support, appraisal and development are in place to enable staff to fulfil their potential and deliver best practice in their relevant areas. 9. Maintain effective networks both internally to ensure join-up across key functions and projects, and externally to promote the University’s mission and community role with key partners and stakeholders. 10. Take responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and students by managing risk and ensuring compliance with Health and Safety Regulations, writing and implementing the University’s Health and Safety Policy. 11. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, contribute to the overall management and performance of the institution. 12. To fully embrace and implement the University of Suffolk’s equal opportunities policy and practices, ensuring there is a culture of inclusion for students and staff. This Job Description sets out the major duties associated with the stated purpose of the post. It is assumed that other duties of a similar level/nature undertaken within the section are not excluded simply because they are not itemised. The duties of this post could vary from time to time as a result of new legislation, changes in technology or policy changes. In this case, appropriate training may be given to the post holder to undertake this new/varied work.

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Education and qualification

1. A relevant degree 2. A relevant post-graduate professional qualification

1. A post-graduate management qualification 2. A Health and Safety qualification 3. Experience of working in

or equivalent through professional practice

Knowledge and experience

3. Knowledge and understanding of strategic estates management including a broad knowledge of the statutory and regulatory requirements 4. Demonstrable track record in managing major capital works 5. Proven success in securing significant funds for estates development from a range of sources 6. A strong track record 7. A sound understanding of the management of risk in a business environment 8. Knowledge and experience of the operational management of the functions accountable to the post in developing effective professional networks 9. Experience of managing maintenance and service teams

the higher education sector 4. Expertise of managing

new build and/ or significant refurbishment programmes


Director of Estates

Candidates will be assessed against essential/desirable attributes



16. Highly motivated, independent thinker and able to exercise sound judgement 17. Collaborative, facilitative leader, comfortable working across disciplines, departments and organisations 18. Committed to the University of Suffolk mission 19. Able to generate a good team-working environment 20. Able to act in a professional and confident manner 21. Able to work flexibly, as necessary, to meet targets of responsibility in the context of the University’s corporate strategy and the changing external environment 15. Strong negotiation skills and demonstrable ability to manage a range of service contracts with external providers. 10. A positive, inclusive and collegial leadership style and the ability to inspire, coach and motivate others to deliver excellent and efficient services 11. Ability to work as an effective member of the Senior Leadership Team, in shaping, supporting and driving forward the corporate strategy and other activities for the benefit of the service and University of Suffolk as a whole 12. Proven ability to establish and build excellent collaborative working relationships with key internal and external parties 13. Strong written, oral communication and advocacy skills 14. Ability to think strategically about your area


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For a confidential discussion, please contact our advisors Michael Hewlett and Ben Duffill from the Management Recruitment Group on: Michael Hewlett 07972 579938

Ben Duffill 07976 125010

Applications should consist of a CV and cover letter and should be sent to michael.hewlett@mrgpeople. by 5pm on Sunday 26th July 2020. MRG’s preliminary interviews will be held w/c Monday 27th July with the formal interview stages at the University scheduled for Wednesday 26th August 2020.


Director of Estates


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