Published on 18 September 2023
The University of Sunderland’s £8million project to transform the former Murray Library into a centre of health excellence is now complete.
Over recent months, the building, on Chester Road at City campus, has been undergoing extensive refurbishment work. The finished result is new permanent home for the University’s School of Medicine and School of Psychology – and to reflect this new focus, the building will now be known as Murray Health.
The School of Medicine, which was established at the University in 2019, can be found on Level Three, and the School of Psychology is on Level Two. The Library@Murray is on Level One.
The new building provides innovative and state-of-the-art facilities to the School of Medicine, including a 120-person Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Space, Silent Study Zone, student breakout spaces, a bespoke examination suite, and staff agile working areas.
Professor Scott Wilkes, Head of the School of Medicine and Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Sunderland, said: “It is truly wonderful to be occupying the new medical school which is supporting the ambitions of the medical students and staff. It is a momentous time for us as we move from multi-year Quality Assurance during the last five years of set-up, towards a decision from the General Medical Council early next year to add Sunderland Medical School to the GMC’s list of medical degree awarding bodies.”
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: “In the School of Psychology, we are all thrilled to be in our new home. We recognise the investment in us and are excited to be able to further enhance our student experience, and to develop the cohort of our future health professionals in psychology, counselling and public health.
“This investment will not only allow us to strengthen and develop our provisions, but it provides the foundations for us to grow and develop our provision in order to keep up with developments in our respective fields.”
The redevelopment also includes 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.
This investment in Murray Health 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.
Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said: “I am delighted that the refurbishment of Murray Health is now complete. In state-of-the-art facilities, we can build on the work we do already in preparing the health professionals of tomorrow.”