7 march 2012

Worcester building project gets multi-million pound boost from Old Members

Worcester College
The front gate of Worcester College.

A new lecture theatre and kitchens are to be built at Worcester College, thanks to two very generous gifts from Old Members.

The £10 million project has been given a huge boost by Sir Timothy Sainsbury, who funded a competition to select an architect (eventually won by Rick Mather Architects) and pledged £1.5 million towards construction through the Headley Foundation.

‘Rick Mather has produced a brilliant design, which blends well with the existing college buildings. It provides all the facilities that we hoped to obtain, including as a bonus, a link to the Junior Common Room,’ said Sir Timothy.

The second donation was made by HRH Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Crown Prince of Perak, who gave £5 million – the largest single gift in the history of the College.

‘I am very pleased to be able to help the College with this project, which I understand will be a major element in marking its 300th anniversary. I look forward to playing a continuing role in the life of the College,’ he said.

Provost Jonathan Bate said: ‘This building will give us the opportunity to host events and high profile lectures that will bring Worcester to the heart of Oxford’s public intellectual life, while new catering arrangements will add further to our terrific sense of community.

‘The College is extraordinarily grateful to these most munificent of donors, and I wish to express my personal thanks to my predecessor, Dick Smethurst, for fostering these relationships.’

Rick Mather Architects also designed the expansion of the Ashmolean Museum, two academic buildings for Keble College and an auditorium for Corpus Christi College. Building work is slated to begin in July 2013.