The University of Sunderland is one step closer to opening its new London campus after signing the lease on its new home.

Following over a decade of continuous growth, the University of Sunderland in London is expanding its premises near Canary Wharf, one of the capital’s key commercial districts.

The £8m investment sees the University take up 95,000 sqft of space in two adjoining buildings, increasing its current floor site by 65% and solidifying its footprint in the capital.

The new campus, which is located at 4 and 5 Harbour Exchange (HX), will be completed later this year.

The two leases were negotiated by the real estate team at commercial law firm Muckle LLP.

The new campus will offer enhanced learning, teaching and working experiences for students, academics, and support staff.

  • If you want more business content and insight - backed by our commitment to help the North East grow - sign up for £4 for 4 months, right through the General Election and beyond . Just CLICK HERE

The development will provide a range of modern study and collaboration spaces alongside cutting-edge learning facilities, all with panoramic views across the Canary Wharf and Docklands area.

To ensure the development met the needs of the end user, the University conducted various surveys and focus groups during the design stage. Sustainability was identified as a priority which is reflected in the design, with elements including bicycle storage provision.

The University first opened its London campus in 2012 in the nearby Marsh Wall building. The faculty numbers have grown year-on-year and, to date, the University has welcomed over 24,000 students studying a range of subjects, including nursing, business, finance and tourism.

Jenny Gibbs, Property Management Surveyor at the University, said: “We are so proud of the long-term growth of our student numbers. However, this increased demand, alongside technological advancements in delivering education programmes, has created the need for expansion to ensure we still deliver a fantastic learning, working and teaching experience for all.

“I am looking forward to welcoming students and workers to our new London site in the coming months”.

The campus redevelopment is part of a wider £250m investment programme that sets out to transform the University’s UK campuses over the next 10 years. Alongside the new Harbour Exchange campus, the first phase of the programme involves reinvigorating The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter’s, Sunderland. Phase two will focus on the University’s City campus, also in Sunderland.

In addition to the UK, the University has branched out into the Far East, opening its Hong Kong campus in 2017 and relocating to a larger campus in Hong Kong in 2023 to provide a first class learning environment that will accommodate additional learners.

The real estate team at Muckle has advised the University on a range of projects for both its Sunderland-based campuses and the London location. This included the original lease of the third floor of the HX4 building in 2021.

Deborah Lazenby, partner, and Kate Rickett, associate solicitor, acted for the University in negotiating and completing the new leases along with a number of other related documents for the development of the site, supported by the wider team at Muckle.

Deborah said: “I have worked with the University for over a decade now and it is fantastic to once again be a part of its next stage of growth. These leases are a pivotal moment for the new campus and demonstrate the University's commitment to providing a first-class learning and teaching experience to all users”.

Jenny said: “Throughout the project, we found Deborah, Kate and the wider team extremely responsive and proactive. The project was not without its challenges, but the Muckle team remained calm, pragmatic and professional throughout, providing specialist advice that was essential in getting the deal over the line.”