Request help and guidance

Request additional space

Departments should note that our initial approach is to advise them on how to make the most of the space they already occupy. This may involve some reorganisation of departmental activities or reconfiguration of space.

To request additional space a division or department should contact the Space Management Team. The division or department will need to complete a space bid form outlining its requirements. The process for assessing a request for space is then as follows:

  1. Space request submitted by department to Space Management and meeting held to confirm requirements.

  2. Space Management conduct a review of space availability within the department and wider estate to identify any suitable space and compare any competing needs. Space Management liaise with divisions to ensure priority needs are taken into account.

  3. Possible solution/s discussed with the department and division concerned. If a solution is identified the department/division will then need to confirm they are happy with the proposed solution before any allocation can be put forward for approval.     

  4. Formal allocation recommended to the Director of Estates (if <300m2) or Buildings and Estate Sub-committee (BESC) (if >301). Please note that larger allocations may also need to go to other University committees for approval, so it is important to allow as much time as possible before the space requirement needs to be met). The Space Management team can provide further information on committee timings and allocations.

  5. The departments/divisions are notified of the outcome of the allocation following the required committee meeting(s). If applicable, handover of the space will then be arranged with a representative from the department.

Release occupied space

A department that wishes to release space that it has been allocated back to the University or to another department should contact its division and also the Space Management team (in accordance with Estates Standing Orders). A space release form will then need to be completed and signed by both the department and division.

It remains the allocated department’s responsibility to pay all space, infrastructure and operational charges until the end of the financial year in which the request for release of space is approved and the department vacates the space. Approval to release space will only be given if the space is free from restrictions on use or access.

The release of space back to Estates (or onto another department) will be subject to a formal handover and the existing department is responsible for ensuring the space is handed back in a suitable condition and emptied of all departmental belongings.

Rent space outside the University

When space needs cannot be provided from within the University’s estate, it may be necessary to lease a property owned by a third party (including Colleges). Departments looking to rent space outside the central University as a solution to their space needs should follow the same procedure for requesting additional space and must agree a request at divisional level. The request is reviewed initially by the Space Management team, who will determine whether there is any University space which may be suitable. If not, the request is then passed to our colleagues in Asset Management who will undertake a search for suitable property and consider the terms on which it will be let. The Asset Management team is currently drafting a guide to leasing space which will provide useful information for departments on what to expect.

If a department wishes to enter into an agreement with a third party that results in any non-University users (not an employee of the University or a separate company or body (including Charities)) occupying University space it will need to be done in accordance with the Rules for Letting Functional Space (currently being revised).

All letting of functional space or leasing in space for a functional purpose requires formal University approval before legal documents can be completed.  The level of Committee approval required depends on the size of the space.

Leasing in space and letting functional space approvals

< 300m2

Director of Estates approval required, under delegated authority from BESC and PRAC, subject to termly reporting to BESC.

> 301m2

BESC and PRAC approval and CSG resolution required for all letting of Functional space or leasing in space for a functional purpose.

All letting of functional space or leasing in space for a functional purpose will need to be undertaken in parallel with a space allocation. Please note that space allocations over 600m2 will also require Congregation approval.

Renting and letting space on a commercial basis is managed by our colleagues in the Asset Management team – find out more in Commercial Estate or contact them at (assetmanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk).

All rents, service charges, business rates, surveyor’s costs and legal fees are the responsibility of the occupying department, unless otherwise agreed by PRAC or when the space is to be used by a service department (ie UAS). Departments should note that rental and service charges for commercially rented property are usually considerably higher than the University's space-related infrastructure charges, and that business rates can amount to a significant proportion of the total occupational costs. Whether a department pays the full rent for leased space or just the University’s space charges is currently at BESC’s discretion. 

Get help with space charging

For help and advice about space charging, including estimates and projected charges for future moves, changes and projects, please contact the Information Manager, stating your request.

Request a new space number

To request a space number for a new or refurbished space, please contact the Information Manager.  More information about space numbers, including departmental responsibilities can be found here.

Request a change to your building’s name

To request a change of building name, please contact the Information Manager in the first instance. Please note that BESC (Building and Estates Subcommittee) approval is required before a new/changed building name is assigned. 

Request a change to your building’s street address

To request a change of building address, please contact the Information Manager, who will inform the appropriate local authorities on your behalf.  More information on registering and amending street addresses is available here.

Get help with business rates and Council Tax

If you receive any information relating to Business Rates or Council Tax for University properties, please contact the Information Manager in the first instance.

Get help with enquiries about highways and infrastructure services

If you have an enquiry or receive a request from outside the University about highways or about mechanical, electrical or telecommunications services, whether on or outside University-owned land, please contact the Information Manager.  

More information about the highways and plant records we keep is available here 

Find out about managing asbestos

You can find more information about how the University manages asbestos within its buildings and access the asbestos register here.  For more information and advice contact Jason Barley, Asbestos Coordinator.