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Osney Power Station Development

March 2017

Many of you in the local community are aware that a homeless group, Iffley Open House, has been occupying the Osney Power Station, which is owned by the University of Oxford.  Saïd Business School has been following events and recognises that these might have raised questions among residents about the long-term future of the building and about our commitment to the proposed development of Osney Power Station to extend our teaching facilities.

We would like to provide reassurance that the project is still a major strategic priority for the School, and that we are working hard to identify donors who will support us in creating a centre of executive learning, whilst retaining the character of the building and making sure that its refurbishment is as sympathetic as possible to the local environment.

Progressing the project to the next stage requires substantial philanthropic funding, and we are actively exploring opportunities. Indeed, whilst activity on the project has been paused for this purpose, as well as to weigh up the impacts of political and economic uncertainty following the events of last year, we continue to liaise with our appointed architects and project team with the intent to proceed with the next stage of design work when we can.  Our governing body remains keen that we do so, but is also conscious of the need for us to make progress on the fundraising front.

Please do come back to this website for further updates, which we will make as and when we have news to report. We would also welcome any comments or questions regarding the project to OPSenquiries@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Catherine Quinn
Chief Operating Officer

October 2016

The School remains committed to the Osney Power Station (OPS) as its primary city centre location for its Executive Education programmes and related residential facilities.

Having completed an initial feasibility study, the outcome of the EU referendum on 24 June gave the School temporary pause for thought, and as a result of potential instability in the economy and consequent uncertainties over fundraising, it was decided to put this decision-making temporarily on hold over the summer. 

Following a further discussion at a meeting of the School Board earlier this month, during which the Board acknowledged the critical need for the OPS facility as a future home for its Executive Education and residential facility, it was proposed to reconsider the decision in December regarding whether or not to press ahead with the next stage of the process in the early New Year, pending further investigation in the next few weeks of some key donor opportunities. 

Stage 2 in the process will comprise of undertaking some early design work.

We will continue to keep you informed of any progress, or otherwise, of our plans and post any project updates on this page.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any enquiries via opsenquiries@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Catherine Quinn
Chief Operating Officer
 

March 2016

You may recall that I wrote to you in November to let you know that we had appointed an architectural practice, John McAslan + Partners (JM+P) to undertake a feasibility study on Osney Power Station. The study will help us determine whether the building can provide the space and facilities needed by Saïd Business School to provide a learning centre for short residential education courses for senior professionals from business, government and other organisations.

In my note, I mentioned that we would like to welcome you to Saïd Business School to meet the architects and I would now like to extend an invitation for you to join us for tea and refreshments at an informal ’meet the team’ drop-in session any time between 5:30 and 7:30pm on Thursday 17 March 2016.

There will be the opportunity to chat with colleagues from the Business School, the University’s estates team, architects from John McAslan + Partners and a few of the recently-appointed consultants who are working on the feasibility study.   Whilst we will not have any specific plans or suggested designs to present at this time, we are keen to keep in touch as we go through these early-stage investigations.

Just to clarify where we are: the feasibility study currently underway is intended to provide an expert assessment of the site and its capacity for the School’s purposes, to help us determine whether or not to take the project forward to the design and planning stage.  It will address a number of points (including, for example, the forecast costs of the project, and flood risk mitigation) but not design matters.  We expect the feasibility study and analysis to be completed by early summer

Invitation to meet the project team

Date: Thursday 17 March 2016

Time: 5.30pm-7.30pm  
Please note: this is an informal ‘drop in’ gathering with no presentations and you are very welcome to arrive and leave any time during the event.

Location: Saïd Business School.
Please enter the School at the side entrance on the railway concourse.

RSVPOPSenquiries@sbs.ox.ac.uk 
Refreshments will be served.

We will post any project updates on this page

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any enquiries via the mailbox: OPSenquiries@sbs.ox.ac.uk 
 

Catherine Quinn
Chief Operating Officer
 

November 2015

Following my note in October, I am pleased to let you know that we have now appointed an architectural practice, John McAslan + Partners (JM+P) to undertake a feasibility study on Osney Power Station. The study will help us determine whether the building can provide the space and facilities needed by Saïd Business School in the form of a learning centre for short residential education courses for senior professionals from business, government and other organisations.

JM+P is an award-winning architectural practice with an established reputation both for new build projects and for the sensitive and imaginative regeneration of historic buildings. Notable examples of the latter include the transformation of King’s Cross Station (which has won around 30 international awards) and the Roundhouse in London. We are very much looking forward to working with JM+P and to taking the feasibility stage of the project forward. We envisage that the feasibility study will be completed in the first quarter of 2016. Whilst it will provide information relating to the assessment of the site and its capacity for the School’s purposes, and is likely to address a range of matters (including, for example, flood risk mitigation and transport arrangements), it will not at that point provide a design, which would follow if the School and University decided after the feasibility report to proceed to the next stage.

In order to keep you informed in the meantime, we would like to hold a further community event in the first quarter of the new year to give residents and interested parties an opportunity to meet the architects’ team. The purpose of this meeting will be to identify any points of particular interest, both to you as individual residents and to the community more generally. This will be intended to build upon the discussions we began when we met back in May this year. At this point we will not have any specific plans or suggested designs to present, but we will be keen to update you at this key stage of the process and to secure your feedback. We will be in touch with details of the next community event in early 2016 as soon as they are confirmed.

As mentioned, we are keen to keep in touch with you and with the Osney community and will post any updates here. Please do not hesitate to contact me via the mailbox OPSenquiries@sbs.ox.ac.uk with any enquiries.

Catherine Quinn
Chief Operating Officer

October 2015

In May this year, many Osney residents kindly attended an informal session at Saïd Business School at which we shared our provisional plans for the refurbishment of the Osney Power Station.   As those of you who attended may recall, the building is owned by the University of Oxford, and the Business School is investigating whether the power station could be developed to provide us with additional space as a teaching centre for our short residential education courses for senior professionals from business, government and other organisations.

The next step in the process is the appointment of an architect who will conduct a feasibility study to determine whether the building is able to provide the facilities we need.  Our initial plan was to have completed the architect selection process by the end of July and to schedule a public consultation for the autumn.  However, the process has taken slightly longer than we anticipated as a result of summer holidays and the need to consult within  the School; and we are now expecting to appoint an architect in October/November.  This will result in both the feasibility study and the next public consultation moving, most likely, to the first quarter of 2016.

We are keen to keep in touch with you and with the Osney community to share our plans as they emerge, and to continue to receive your feedback.   The initial information event on 13 May 2015 was widely promoted to local residents and interested parties, and we were delighted that it was so well attended.   We felt it was a very productive session, at which a number of comments were made and noted to ensure that they are fed into the development of the project.

We will ensure that we keep you informed of developments and will send our further communications in due course.  Updates will appear on this page.  Any enquiries may also be sent via our mailbox: OPSenquiries@sbs.ox.ac.uk   

Catherine Quinn
Chief Operating Officer

March 2015

Osney Power Station is an important landmark within the local Oxford community and a significant building historically and architecturally.  

The University, which owns the building, is exploring the use of the site by Saïd Business School to provide high-quality facilities for leadership development programmes for senior professionals from business, government and other organisations. The continued success and planned growth of the Business School means that further space will be required over the next five years.

At this early stage, no specific plans have been developed for the redevelopment of Osney Power Station, but the school would be keen to retain the character of the building and to take full advantage of its striking architectural features.  A first priority would be to ensure that Osney Power Station remains a landmark at the heart of the community.  We hope the redevelopment of this building will also be an important step in the wider regeneration and environmental sustainability of West Oxford.

We are at the initial stages of thinking about this proposed new use for Osney Power Station. We have begun a selection process to engage an architectural firm, and our intention is to work with leading architects for the conversion to ensure that whilst retaining the heritage of the building, we take advantage of leading-edge thinking on sustainable development to ensure the building is at the forefront of environmental sustainability. Our architects will want to explore opportunities such as rainwater harvesting, solar energy and other initiatives to increase the building’s efficiency and minimise its environmental impact. The recent extension to the school’s current site in Park End Street has successfully integrated such principles and won a 2013 RIBA National Award for architectural excellence, as did the original building in 2002.

The site’s proximity to the school and convenience for the railway station and other public transport are important considerations for us and we anticipate that the current approved parking allocation (of 12 spaces) will be retained for disabled users or other priority users, but will not be increased.  

We will be keen to explore ways in which the Osney Power Station facilities could be opened up periodically to the local community, perhaps for cultural events.  We have long held art exhibitions and theatre performances, at the School’s Park End Street site.

We are proud of the positive community relations we enjoy at our current site in Park End Street, and were extremely grateful for the local residents’ support and input when we worked on the second phase of that building in order to construct the extension there. As we begin to develop proposals for the refurbishment of Osney Power Station, we are keen to engage with the local community to share our plans and receive feedback.  We held an initial information event on 13 May 2015 which was widely promoted to local residents and interested parties and was well attended.  It was a very productive meeting, at which a number of comments were made and these have been noted to ensure that they are fed into the development of the project.  

We will hold two formal public consultation events which we hope will be in the Autumn this year and Spring next year. Details of these meetings will be sent to the community in due course via leaflet drops, community notice boards and emails to Residents’ Associations and other interested parties.

Further information on the project will be posted on this website and on the University Estates website as it becomes available. 

 
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