Estates Committee

Estates Committee

The Estates Committee’s purpose is to oversee the University’s estate in order that it can support world-class academic, teaching and research activity in accordance with the University’s foundational purpose and strategic plan and, to make recommendations to the Policy and Resources Committee and Court.



Remit: (To be reviewed annually at first meeting of committee cycle)

  • Oversee the selection, prioritisation and control of the University’s strategic projects within the Directorate of Estates & Facilities in line with (i) the strategic priorities outlined in Aberdeen 2040, (ii) the University’s capacity to deliver, and (iii) the institutional benefits management and realisation processes;
  • Oversee the benefits realisation of strategic projects within the Committee’s portfolio;
  • Lead and oversee the process of re-imagining our physical estate, encouraging broad engagement in the consultation process and delivering a master plan for the Old Aberdeen and Foresterhill campuses that has at its heart the creation of attractive, digitally rich spaces that will (i) generally enhance interdisciplinary exchange and innovation and (ii) create a flagship physical locus for the five Interdisciplinary Challenges;
  • Monitor and evaluate progress against the ambitions outlined within the master plan and associated KPIs, making supportive and constructive recommendations to enhance effectiveness and implement remedial actions as required;
  • Oversee the development, implementation, review and mitigation of the estate-related risks within the institutional Risk Register;
  • Promote and embed key University values and ambitions within all aspects of estate-related activities, including (i) Sustainability and Social Responsibility (including alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals), (ii) Risk Management, (iii) Health, Safety & Wellbeing and (iv) Inclusion, working closely with other University committees and/or working groups as required;
  • Exercise appropriate governance and oversight to support the Estates & Facilities Directorate in managing the University’s physical estate, including asset management, delivery of small works/capital projects, ongoing maintenance & repair programmes, facilities management, space allocation & management, campus & commercial services and energy/environmental sustainability issues relating to the estate;
  • Make recommendations to the Senior Management Team, Policy and Resources Committee and/or University Court on the establishment of capital/strategically important projects in line with the master plan, including the provision of guidance on budgetary implications/value for money and procurement matters;
  • Provide strategic oversight of the acquisition and disposal of land and/or buildings within the level of authority delegated to the Committee, making recommendations to the Senior Management Team, Policy and Resources Committee/University Court as appropriate; and
  • Scan the external horizon to ensure the University (i) continues to meet legislative/regulatory compliance requirements and best practice guidelines, and (ii) considers innovative approaches to managing and developing the physical estate e.g. new ways of developing, designing and utilising space, alternative funding mechanisms etc.

Composition and Membership 2021-22




Karl Leydecker

Two Elected Members of Senate


Neil Vargesson

Lesley Lancaster

University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer Tracey Slaven
Vice-Principal (Education) Ruth Taylor

Vice-Principal (Global Student Recruitment)

Alan Speight

Vice-Principal (Regional Engagement & Regional Recovery) Pete Edwards

Vice Principal (Research)

Marion Campbell

Director of Estates and Facilities (Interim)

Duncan White

Director of Finance

Mark White

Director of Digital and Information Services

Brian Henderson

Director of Planning

Hulda Sveinsdottir

One Head of School Graeme Paton
One School Administration Manager Sarah Duncan
Student Representation Adam Lambert

Co-opted (Attend for Specific Items of Business)

Project Sponsor, Johnston Redevelopment

Graeme Nixon

Project Sponsor, King’s Quarter

Siladitya Bhattacharya

Other Project Sponsors (as required)

TBC as required
In Attendance

Staff from Estates & Facilities as determined by the Director, normally to include:

  • Deputy Directors of Estates & Facilities (Operations)
  • Head of Projects & Small Works / Deputy Director (Planning & Development)
  • Bob Philp

  • Paul Gormley
Representative from the Project Management Office (at their discretion, attendance not required) Ian Grant / Matthew Robertson


Heather Crabb


If additional information or consultation is required on any aspect of business under consideration, the Committee will co-opt individuals (internal and/or external to the University) as advisory members e.g. external professional advisers, procurement specialists, Development Trust representatives etc.