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Exciting building developments at University of Westminster

We are three years into a ten-year strategy of investment in our estate, which is improving our four campus buildings and surroundings.

This summer we are continuing the work at Marylebone , constructing a new heart to the campus, to be known as the Learning Platform.  This area will feature learning spaces, a remodelled cafe and the new library entrance. The first floor of the library is also being redesigned to improve the overall look and feel as well as introducing new group study areas. At Harrow campus we are building a vibrant new space at the entrance to the academic buildings called the Forum; and at Little Titchfield Street, the whole of the library first floor is being redesigned and refurbished. The new design includes bookable group study rooms, more flexible study space and a new library counter area.

A number of new developments have already been completed. These include creating laboratories, a library extension and new teaching facilities at the New Cavendish campus; new lecture/seminar rooms at Marylebone; and at Harrow, upgrading parts of the library as well as significant refurbishment of other areas of the campus.

For images and further details please visit 


New book reveals University of Westminster’s sporting legacy: Historic route of the 1908 London Games’ marathon revealed

As Britain prepares to host the 2012 Games, a new book from the University of Westminster tells the story of the University’s 130 year history of sport.  Its students, members and administrators have won Olympic medals, organised and influenced key Olympic events and helped to bring the Olympics back to London for 2012.

‘An Education in Sport: Competition, communities and identities at the University of Westminster since 1864’ by Mark Clapson, Reader in History, draws on the University’s extensive archives to tell the stories of its sports clubs and facilities that have long been at the heart of London life, producing more than 30 Olympic medal winners and over 100 Olympic competitors.

‘An Education in Sport’ reveals the key role of the Regent Street Polytechnic, now the University of Westminster, in organising the opening and closing ceremonies for the 1908 Games, the first to be hosted in London. The Polytechnic Harriers organised the route for the 1908 marathon, establishing the international standard distance of 26 miles and 385 yards that is still used today. The club’s secretary, Jack Andrew, was involved with the race’s dramatic conclusion, helping the dehydrated Dorando Pietri of Italy over the finish line. Pietri was disqualified and the second runner, Jim Hayes of the USA, was declared the winner. Such was the popular support for Pietri that he was presented with a special medal by Queen Alexandra. Members of the Polytechnic’s athletics, cycling and boxing clubs all won medals at the 1908 Olympics, with Charles Henry Bartlett winning gold in the 100km cycling.

Some of the finest athletes of the 20th century have competed for the University and its predecessors, including Olympians such as Arthur Wint of Jamaica and Emmanuel McDonald Bailey of Trinidad, Violet Webb, Thomas Lance, Harry Ryan, George Albert Hill, Dame Mary Glen-Haig, David Ricketts and Alan Pascoe.

An Education in Sport is the second publication exploring this institution’s long and diverse history. The first instalment – the story of the Royal Polytechnic Institution – is unfolded in The Education of the Eye by Brenda Weeden (Granta, 2008). A third publication detailing the University’s history 1882-1992 will appear in 2013.

For more details please go to our website:

Elaine Penn
University Archivist, University of Westminster