A £25 million grant to help fund a redevelopment of an Oxford University college research site and build housing for 230 students has been announced.
Keble College, in Oxford’s Parks Road will get the capital grant between January 2017 and May 2018 from Hampshire-based HB Allen Charitable Trust.
It will go towards the college’s £60m project to redevelop Keble’s Acland site between Woodstock Road and Banbury Road, and is the largest single donation in the college’s 145-year history.
The revamp will provide a 120-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms, research space, exhibition space, café, a gym, as well as the college’s Advanced Studies Centre, .
Philanthropist Heather Allen founded the HB Allen Trust in 1987 and died in 2005.
Keble College is also funding the redevelopment through other philanthropic gifts from alumni, friends of the college, and a 40-year loan.
Peter Shone, an HB Allen trustee, said: “The trustees thought it appropriate to make a landmark grant that will stand as a fitting memorial to the philanthropy of Miss Allen.”
The grant was announced on Thursday.
Sir Jonathan Phillips, Keble College warden, said: “The Trust’s commitment to the project will enable it to proceed to completion well in advance of the college’s 150th anniversary in 2020.”
The Acland site was formerly a private hospital and was bought by Keble in 2004, currently housing around 80 graduate students.
Building work is due to start in July 2016, with the building hoped to be ready for occupancy in October 2018.