£35m Sibson building formally opened

Over 150 guests attended the formal opening of Sibson on Wednesday 24 May, the University’s largest ever academic building.

The building is named after Professor Robin Sibson (1944-2017) who was Vice-Chancellor of the University between September 1994 and August 2001 and was officially opened by his wife, artist Heather Gulliver.

Sibson will be the new home of both Kent Business School (KBS) and the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS).

University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow opened the event while Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost David Nightingale led the tributes for Professor Sibson.

Sibson official opening

Among those to attend were staff and students from both Schools, University Council members, staff from the University’s Estates department, Lord Mayor of Canterbury Rosemary Doyle, and representatives of local parish councils, residents’ associations and amenity societies.

Sibson was completed after two years of development by construction firm Willmott Dixon and covers a total of 7,900 square meters across three floors. This space includes three lecture theatres, dedicated MBA/postgraduate and IT suites, academic and research workspaces, and a café/restaurant.

Sibson was built by construction firm Willmott Dixon and designed by architects Penoyre and Prasad and is intended to fit into the natural surroundings of the area. This included creating new woodland habitats on University land to minimise the building’s ecological impact.

Sibson building

Its sustainable and low-energy credentials have been recognised by the award of a BREEAM score of ‘Excellent’, the world’s foremost environment assessment method and rating system for buildings.

Sibson was funded through a combination of a £5m grant from the Higher Education Funding Council England, a loan from the European Investment Bank, and the University.