skip to content

Building and Estate Services


Click here to view a flowchart summary of the Minor Works application process.

The starting point is the registration of a project with the Space Management Minor Works Sub-Committee (SMMWSC) of the Building Committee, which is done via the PRAO, and is subject to the endorsement of the Head of Department and the Head of the School of Technology.

Minor Works projects are managed strategically under the University's annual planning round process. Each year, the Department is asked to identify projects to be undertaken in the next twelve months, and in the following four years. The process depicted in the flowchart shows how projects are then prioritised for central funding and programming. Contributions from central funding are limited, and the majority of projects are funded entirely by the Department and its Divisions. Partial central funding is only usually available for teaching facilities, critical maintenance issues, and works associated with new academic appointments.

More significantly, Estate Management resources are allocated to projects which appear in the planning round submissions, and it is more difficult to initiate projects which are identified later.

The way in which projects proceed depends on their value. Projects with an estimated cost of £50k or less are dealt with under delegated authority. At present, for the Department of Engineering, this authority lies with Estate Management, but it is expected that this will be granted to the Department later in 2017. The intention is that most projects of less than £50k will be managed directly by the Department from October 2017.

Although it is usually possible to register small projects outside the planning round process, the availability of project resources may constrain their delivery.

The governance process is simplified for projects of less than £50k, but it remains necessary to obtain Estate Management approval for works to any University building, and papers outlining the works and their rationale are submitted to the SMMWSC, for information and review.

Projects exceeding £50,000 follow a process very similar to Major Projects, but approvals are sought from the SMMWSC and the Resource Management Committee, rather than the Capital Projects Group and the Planning and Resources Committee. The stages follow a logic of increasing commitment of time and money, and clarification and definition of requirements. The first stage of evaluation is based on the outline statement of the building requirements, and the anticipated costs and benefits stated in the registration document.

Subject to approval, a feasibility study is commissioned where a formal scheme is developed, usually in conjunction with a professional team, and an estimated cost is derived. A business case is developed and submitted to the SMMWSC for approval. The scale of the feasibility study and the business case will reflect
the complexity and value of the project.

Subject to approval, the project can then proceed to implementation.

Minor Works projects will usually be implemented in the year in which they are registered, though securing funding, and difficulties in establishing an affordable scheme can extend this period.