Improving Accessibility

Our goal is to be a friendly and welcoming place, and that means welcoming to all. This is why in Michaelmas 2021 the College conducted a survey of students and staff regarding barriers to phyical access, as well as commissioning a feasibility study with the award-winning architectural and heritage consultancy practice Purcell Associates on ideas for possible interventions.

Making the College more welcoming to people of all abilities

In consultation with Purcell, the College’s Governing Body identified both immediate and longer-term interventions to improve physical accessibility.

College historic development

Harris Manchester College buildings were designed by Thomas Worthington and opened in 1893. Later additions include the Arlosh Hall (1913), the incorporation of a row of historic houses in Holywell Street (various ages), a range of new buildings associated with the transition to constituent college status (1990s), and the Siew-Sngiem Clock Tower and Maevadi Hall (2010s). In 1990 the College was granted Permanent Private Hall status and in 1996 with a Royal Charter the College became a full College of the University of Oxford.

purcell  historic development

All images @Purcell

Immediate projects and costings
  • Installation of accessible audio/visual connection from main entrance to Lodge -- £7,000
  • Platform and ramp from Tate Quad to Main Building -- £35,000
  • Video intercom link for Navapan Gate and automation of other external doors, including to the Navapan building -- £56,000
  • Creation of welcome desk in main entrance hall. As well as providing a more accessible welcome, this will improve security of parcels and facilitate the introduction of 24-hour staffing -- £56,000
  • Alteration of levels around the south entrance to Maevadi Hall to create a safer accessible route to the building - £28,000
  • Creation of secondary street entrance and lift to the ground and library levels, in the space currently occupied by the ground floor men’s toilets and the upstairs library toilet -- £315,000

The proposals by Purcell were drawn up recognising the sensitive setting and historic fabric of the College. Some will require statutory approvals, the process for which the College will begin imminently. 

How you can help

We already have a match funding pot of £150,000. Any gifts up to this amount will be matched 1-1!

To make a donation to support this project, please click here.

Thank you for your support.