Praise for University of Worcester’s Vision

Barclays visit 2023
Jess Tomlinson, Head of Public Sector for Barclays Corporate Banking, with University Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green

Jess Tomlinson, Head of Public Sector for Barclays Corporate Banking, was among several senior colleagues from the bank given a tour of a number of university facilities, which were made possible through its successful long-term partnership with Barclays.

Through this positive relationship, the University has been able to deliver on its mission to support engagement, creating some of Britain’s most inspiring and inclusive facilities, including Europe’s first integrated university and public library, The Hive, and the UK’s first indoor sports arena purpose-designed to include the wheelchair athlete.

Ms Tomlinson said: “Generally the focus on social impact and inclusion really stood out. It feels like Worcester has been ahead of their time at putting that at the heart of decision making.

“It was particularly the theme about making this a place where, whatever your background, you could be comfortable and achieve, and the fact that the University has been doing that for a long time, that it is right at the heart of the vision of the place, that is something that really struck me today.”

As well as the University of Worcester Arena and The Hive, the tour also included the City Campus, the Art House, the School of Law and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson building, a state-of-the-art teaching facility for health students which will also house the University’s new Three Counties Medical School. The visitors also heard about the University’s plans for an International Inclusive Cricket Education Centre at its Severn Campus.

“I thought it was very inspiring to see The Hive in particular and the collaboration between the University and the Council really creating an incredible space for both the people of Worcester and the students,” said Ms Tomlinson. “It was interesting to see the amount of space dedicated to young families and education for young families. The other thing that struck me was the focus on inclusion, particularly from an inclusive sport perspective. It was the fact that what was delivered is a unique asset for Worcester but also the UK. The plans for the International Inclusive Cricket Education Centre are also really exciting.”

Speaking on the new Medical School building, she added: “When you look at spaces like that that universities are delivering you think about how they are setting the bar for the employers of the future. It’s such a calm and functional environment to learn in. It’s going to be fascinating to see once the students arrive how that supports the workflow of doctors in the local environment and beyond.”

She said she had also enjoyed the mixture of history and modernity. “This University feels very much part of the City”, she said. “It’s incorporated the heritage of the City into how it’s grown but also in the way it’s repurposed these old buildings like the old hospital [City Campus] and the car showroom [the Art House]. It must be a positive for the University of Worcester to be part of the regeneration of these buildings, ensuring their legacy and preserving that heritage.”

“One of the privileges of doing this role is visiting the institutions that we’re supporting and seeing how the capital that Barclays is funding has been helpful to Worcester in its aspirational agenda that’s making a difference to people’s lives and giving them opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”