Students at the University of Bradford are set to benefit from a multi-million pound investment in their social and study areas, with several major refurbishments currently underway.

The two biggest investments are to Student Central – where students socialise and hold events – and the University’s JBP Library.

In Student Central, level 02 is being transformed into a modern, welcoming space, with a new food and drinks offering, an updated bar complete with a huge TV screen for watching sports and a dance floor, and new games area, featuring pool tables, shuffleboard, interactive darts and more.

The bar, known as BelowOne in a nod to its position in the basement, will serve mocktails as well as alcoholic drinks, while Brew & Co Kitchen, will offer a range of hot drinks, smoothies and even bubble tea.

The £2m project incorporates five separate areas, covering 1323m2. The space, two floors below ground, will also boast new environmentally-friendly LED lighting, a new accessibility ramp and a peaceful garden sanctuary.

The JB Priestley Library will benefit from a £1.6m re-fit to expand and transform the group study space. The new area will include a variety of seating as well as bookable rooms, along a peaceful Moorland theme. Technology to support a range of group learning will also be incorporated.

Both projects – which are being carried out by Wakefield-based firm Construction Dynamics – will be finished ready for the start of the new academic year in September.

Steve Gilley, Director of Infrastructure at the University, said: “We have designed these areas to be as inclusive as possible, and hopefully they will be enjoyed and welcomed by all students.

“The Higher Education sector is currently experiencing a number of challenges, particularly with regards to funding. While the University is continuing with its mission to reduce cost and waste where possible, it is also vital that we continue to invest in projects which will be attractive to prospective students and improve the experience of those currently studying at Bradford.”

Prospective students will be able to get a sneak peak of the work in progress at the Postgraduate Open Day on Saturday 13 July and at the Clearing Open Day, on Saturday 17 August.

The designs for Student Central and the Library are based on consultations with students as to what they would like to have in these student focused areas

Komal Iqbal, a second-year law student who runs the University Baking Society, said: “I’m very excited about the bubble tea bar and the fact we will have a lot of seating available. Also the garden area, I like the idea of nature being inside the building, and the games. It’s going to look really nice, I can already imagine it. The amount of social life and games you’re going to get here, it’s going to be great.”

Folarin Ojajuni, who is studying for an MA Social Work, was involved in planning the library refurbishment, said: “We wanted a serene and comfortable ambience where you can share ideas with fellow students.”

The University is also currently making significant improvements to its computer technology and midwifery facilities, which will also be ready for the start of the new term in September.

In Midwifery, a dedicated flexible learning space will be created to facilitate both simulation-based and problem-based learning, providing an immersive environment. This includes both hospital and community based areas, which will facilitate high and low fidelity simulation utilising integrated simulation software and creating diverse learning opportunities and experiences for students.

The new £1.1m facility will be used for clinical skills, simulated scenarios and both face-to-face and online teaching. It will also include break-out spaces for smaller group work and debriefing, to reinforce teaching away from the main space.

The University’s Bradford-Renduchintala Centre for Space AI, which was founded through a £2m donation from former student Dr Venkata ‘Murthy’ Renduchintala, will be getting new wall-mounted large screens for satellite observation, as well as new IT and furnishings in a £650,000 re-fit.

Computer Sciences will benefit from an investment of £600,000 to create four functional state-of-the-art computer labs in the University’s Horton D building, increasing capacity to allow for future growth, and providing students with the best learning environment possible.

Savas Konur, Head of School for Computer Science, AI and electronics, said: “The refurbishments of our computer science labs will create an exceptional and visually appealing learning environment, providing an outstanding workspace experience for students and staff. This open and collaborative atmosphere fosters student collaboration and innovation, enhancing the pride of the University and the city of Bradford.”