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The Central University's Estate

Senate House building

Senate House building

The central University's first charter dates from 1836, and as a separately incorporated body, it owns land independently of the Colleges and, since the 1920s, has acquired and developed progressively a considerable Estate in Bloomsbury north of the British Museum. It also owns and leases various properties outside the area.

The central University's Estate is in a variety of occupations and is not limited to accommodating the academic Institutes, central services and central offices. Some Colleges have their main holdings in University-owned property on the central precinct or nearby. The central precinct of 12 hectares freehold land in Bloomsbury includes the Senate House, the central University building. The Senate House was built in the 1930s and is listed Grade II*. It houses the central offices and the University Library and has a number of public rooms which are available for hire. The Estate also includes the Marine Biological Station on the Isle of Cumbrae, a boathouse on the Chiswick embankment, eight central London Halls of Residence and a number of self-catering units further afield which together house nearly 3,000 students and the full premises of the University of London, Institute in Paris. The Estate comprises in excess of 160 buildings of varying sizes totalling approximately 350,000mē.

The Bloomsbury buildings range from Georgian houses to very recent purpose-built academic accommodation. Colleges occupy Estate properties on a range of long and short leases. Some buildings are commercially let and some are in residential use.

In some cases the central University is ground landlord only, with the buildings the full responsibility of the lessee. In other cases the central University has to undertake tenants' responsibilities also.