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The Venue@DMU nominated for prestigious construction award

A recently opened multi-million pound events and conference centre on the De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) campus has been nominated for a prestigious construction award.

 THE VENUE - INTERNAL SHOT

The Venue@DMU hosts the university's stunning graduation ceremonies

The Venue@DMU, in Western Boulevard, staged spectacular graduation ceremonies for thousands of students this summer as well as the investiture ceremony which led to Baroness Lawrence being made Chancellor of DMU.

It will also be used for matriculation ceremonies held during the upcoming Freshers' Week to officially welcome new students to DMU.

The building, which was previously the John Sandford Sports Centre, has just been nominated for a ProCon (Property and Construction) Award 2016 under the regeneration category.

The annual awards recognise outstanding new buildings across Leicestershire.

The John Sandford Sports Centre was made redundant following the opening of DMU's QEII Leisure Centre, which stands adjacent to it.

Led by the Estates Office, the building has been totally transformed inside and out by contractors Stepnell, at a cost of £5 million, to create a state-of-the-art event and conference centre.

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Umesh Desai, DMU Director of Estates & Commercial Services, said: "It's superb news that The Venue@DMU has been recognised in this way by property and construction experts from across Leicestershire.

"The Venue@DMU has shown, since it opened last year, how versatile it is. In that time it has staged everything from away days to student banquets to the spectacular graduation ceremonies this summer.

"I am delighted with the way The Venue@DMU has become an essential feature of our campus and a focal point for some incredible student experiences."

THE VENUE - grads outside

Class of 2016 grads celebrate outside the main entrance to The Venue@DMU

DMU has an excellent track record in the ProCon awards.

The Campus Centre, which is currently undergoing an interior refurbishment to create a bigger and better students' union, was named 'Large Development of the Year' in 2004.

In 2010 the entire DMU campus won the ProCon People's Choice Award as Regeneration Champions of the Decade.

In 2010 the Hugh Aston Building, home to the Faculty of Business and Law, won Large Scheme of the Year and in 2012 the QEII Leisure Centre was awarded the same prize.

As well as graduations and matriculation ceremonies, The Venue@DMU is used to host conferences, exams, performing arts rehearsals and larger events such as jobs fairs, student and staff awards nights, private parties and weddings.

The main hall is wooden-floored, with high-tech lighting and sound equipment. Along one wall a set of motorised Bleacher-style seating can retract into the wall to give more flooring space. There is also a huge commercial kitchen so the venue can provide food for hundreds of people at one sitting.

Upstairs there are a series of breakout and meeting rooms and a smaller kitchen which allows staff to hold away days and presentations.

As well as the interior transformation, the outside of the building has also been reworked, clad in wood panelling and there is a canopied entrance.

The money for the work came from the budget already set aside for the £136 million Campus Transformation Project, which includes the building of a stunning new home for the university's schools of Arts, Architecture and Design - which includes Fashion and Textiles - at the heart of the campus.

The ProCon Awards 2016 will take place at Leicester City's King Power Stadium on Thursday 17 November.

Posted on Thursday 8th September 2016

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