A transformational £9 million gift to The University of Nottingham has been secured to develop a twenty first century health centre, to meet the healthcare needs of students and staff.
Almost 65 years since beginning a charitable relationship with the University, the Cripps Foundation has pledged this transformative gift – the largest single donation from a private foundation in the University’s history.
The gift will be used to build a new health centre which will allow for the existing surgery and dental centre on University Park campus to be repurposed.
When it was built in 1969, Cripps Health Centre had 6,000 students and staff on its records. It now boasts a list of more than 41,000 patients – the biggest GP register in the UK.
The vision for the new facility is centred on a coordinated approach to student health and wellbeing and will allow the University, and surrounding community, unrivalled healthcare facilities within Higher Education.
Plans unveil a new building, close to Cripps Hall, with double the space for clinical consulting rooms, minor operations suites, patient observation bays, a physiotherapy area, dentist treatment rooms and a pharmacy, as well as training rooms and offices.
The new facilities will also allow for greater interaction between the University’s student health services and its primary care research.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway said: “This is a truly remarkable gift to the University, the biggest from any foundation, and the latest manifestation of the Cripps Foundation’s visionary philanthropy, and determination to support personal development.
“Philanthropy is central to our past, present and future. The Cripps Foundation has had an extraordinary impact on the University over many years and without it the institution would not be the place we know today.
“The plans for the health centre will deliver an exemplar facility in terms of design, service provision and related research that will be unrivalled in the UK. It is unique in its potential to impact every single student at our University as well as ensuring the health and well-being of many thousands more in the years to come.”
Ismail Sadurdeen, Student Union President, said: “This gift will really make a difference to students during their time at the University. Health and wellbeing is so important, especially when it’s the first time some of us have lived away from home. The current Cripps Health Centre already delivers invaluable support but the potential for new facilities will really make a difference.”
Tom Cripps, Chairman of the Cripps Foundation, said: “The original Cripps Health Centre at the time of completion was a pioneering healthcare facility for any educational institution, anywhere in the world. It helped The University of Nottingham to develop a leading healthcare practice and medical school, both of which have excelled well beyond the vision in 1969. The Cripps Foundation is truly excited to help provide The University of Nottingham Health Service with a facility that it both needs and deserves.”
The Cripps family became involved with the University back in 1949 when Cyril Cripps and his son Humphrey attended a meeting about the launch of an endowment fund at the time when the institution had been awarded its Royal Charter.
The family then funded appointments in the Faculty of Engineering along with a new hall of residence – Cripps Hall – much loved by thousands of Nottingham students to this day.
The legacy of giving continued with crucial contributions to the Sports Centre project and in 1969 the Foundation funded the Cripps Health Centre. The Cripps Computing Centre and an extension to Cripps Hall also followed.
The University counts the Cripps Foundation, alongside Jesse Boot and the Wolfson Foundation, as one of its most influential and generous long-standing supporters.
Planning permission will now be sought for the building work which is set to be completed in autumn 2018.