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Dame Margaret Barbour Building

Campus building to be named after philanthropist and business leader

Published on: 29 July 2019

Newcastle University’s newest education facility will be named the Dame Margaret Barbour Building.

Taking shape at the Richardson Road site, the 9,000m2, six-storey building, currently known as Plot 4, will feature a lecture theatre for 300 students, social learning spaces, seminar rooms, teaching kitchen and sensory suite, clinical suites, and academic and postgraduate offices.

Dame Margaret Barbour, Chair of global lifestyle brand Barbour, established The Barbour Foundation in 1988 to help charitable causes, cultural and community projects primarily in the North East.

The Barbour Foundation has supported Newcastle University since 2012. A generous £1m gift helped establish the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre, which opened in 2016. A £1m gift supports PhD studentships as part of the Cancer Prevention Programme (CAPP), led by Professor Sir John Burn. A further £2m donation has so far established over 35 PhD studentship posts across the University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences with research focussing on dementia, adult cancer, age-related chronic diseases, infection and immunology, human genetics and neuroscience.

Dame Margaret said: “I am so very honoured to have this building named after me. I so admire the tireless academic work carried out within the University.”

An artist's impression of the new project Image: GSS Architecture

Continued support

Due to open in January 2020, the £39m scheme will provide education facilities available for use by the whole University, along with specialist spaces for Sport and Exercise Science, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, the School of Psychology and the School of Medical Education. Located on the former Richardson Road student accommodation site, the Dame Margaret Barbour Building is the final new build construction project in this area of campus with Park View Student Village and the New Sports Centre. 

Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President, Newcastle University, said: “I would like to thank Dame Margaret for her continued support. We are all very grateful for the opportunities that the Barbour Foundation has given to the University.

Naming the building in her honour is fitting tribute to everything Dame Margaret has done for Newcastle University and an excellent occasion to celebrate the partnership that is bringing this exciting new project to life.

“The Dame Margaret Barbour Building is one of the latest projects in our portfolio of facilities that deliver an outstanding student experience and an excellent environment for our students’ learning, teaching and research.”

This new facility will be used by the whole University, supporting the development of cross-disciplinary research and teaching.


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