AI abstractThe University is proud to announce the arrival of a brand-new digital learning space for students, staff, and the wider university and the local community. HELIX is the culmination of years of planning around digital investment for students – increasing the digital provision available for students to enhance their learning. Not only is HELIX a hub of learning, but we’re thrilled that it’ll also be a mix of multi-purpose spaces for events and conferences, team building, networking activity, and public engagement, featuring immersive technologies, maker and prototyping equipment, and cutting-edge multimedia production studios.

What is HELIX?

HELIX is a multiuse digital space providing a home for all digitally-focused activity at the University of Leeds. It will provide a dedicated space for students to collaborate across faculties on creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial projects based on their own initiatives and creative ideas. And staff and external communities will also benefit from it as it’s open to anyone wishing to forge a community of digital minds in a collaborative setting.

Who is HELIX for?

Everyone. HELIX is designed to meet the needs of our students. But it’s also designed for academic and professional staff to have a modern hub to provide digitally-enhanced experiences. We also want to facilitate the formation of communities among all users of the space – encouraging collaboration and idea generation. We’re also keen to open the space to industry partners and the wider Leeds community.

What is inside HELIX?

There is a range of different modular spaces inside, all of which have specific uses in mind. Some of these include:

Media Studio (including Self Recording and Editing)

High-quality professional studio, editing suites, and media development spaces.  Record video material for external use, flagship projects, and high-quality materials for digital education (animations, etc.)

Self-recording – allowing day-to-day media production at scale, while ensuring quality and support for the academic community. This is done through an online portal that includes support on course design, media recording, and post-production.

Editing – the purpose is to connect multiple AV recording facilities on campus, and streamline workflow and data management.

XR Classroom and Innovation Space

Our XR classroom and innovation space houses our cross-faculty institute, the Centre for Immersive Technologies, and comes with state-of-art equipment including an Omnidirectional treadmill – the only one of its kind in the UK.

This immersive playground provides an opportunity for faculty, students, and industry to explore the future of digital interaction together.

Enterprise Co-Working

Student entrepreneurship, networking, and creative ideation space. Creating opportunities for increased and enhanced collaboration between students, staff, industry, and the wider community.

Flexible Classroom

A flexible and reconfigurable space that supports highly collaborative activities involving students, academics, and staff, workshops, demonstrations, or informal discussions and learning outside of formal meetings or teaching time.


The delivery of a physical facility to provide a “makerspace” capability for staff and students to work collaboratively on the experimentation, development, testing, and delivery of creative initiatives and minimum-viable products, is essential.

floor plan of HELIX

Floor plan of HELIX

Where is HELIX?

HELIX can be found on Level 7 of the EC Stoner building on the University of Leeds campus.

Who will be there?

HELIX is a space for everyone. Students, academic and professional staff as well as organisations from the wider community, you can expect to see familiar faces and make new contacts and friends. There'll always be staff members on hand for anything you need, including:

Margaret Korosec – Dean, Online and Digital Education
Margaret is the strategic sponsor for HELIX and supports its development at senior management level.
Chris Thompson – Interim Head of Engagement and Innovation
Chris is the strategic link between upper management and the operational running of HELIX.
Faisal Mushtaq – Director of the Centre for Immersive Technologies
Faisal leads the XR section of HELIX - helping staff and students incorporate immersive technologies into teaching and learning.
Kerr Hunter – Community Development Manager
Kerr is responsible for building the HELIX community - networking and liaising with stakeholders and space users to create collaborative relationships.
Sue Bickerdike - Digital Education Manager (Production and Creative)
Sue manages the Production and Creative team within the Digital Education Service, ensuring her team have a constant presence, managing the media studios and all the tech inside.
Peter North – Innovation Space Manager
Peter manages the HELIX 'space' - dealing with bookings and room management.
Ben Pierce - Production Manager
Ben manages the production activity within HELIX, making sure the day-to-day planning and activity runs smoothly.
Josh Gregg – Technician
Josh is our on-site tech specialist. He'll be on hand to help with technical set-up and problem-solving.
Richard Tunstall - Academic Director for Enterprise at Leeds
Richard provides academic leadership for entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity in the curriculum.
Brian is the Student Enterprise and Incubation Manager with Spark, the University Business Start-Up Service. Brian helps students and graduates set up and run their own businesses and runs the business incubator within Nexus.
Paul Taylor - Dean for Student Education (Experience)
Paul leads developments in the HELIX Classroom, where we connect students to real and virtual worlds beyond our campus.

When will HELIX be open?

HELIX will officially open in September for the start of the University academic year, 2023. Keep your eyes peeled though as we’ll be having pilot and taster events throughout the spring and summer, 2023.

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