The Gateway FAQs

The University regularly reviews fire safety measures and evacuation procedures in all our academic and residential buildings to ensure they are of the highest standard. We routinely test fire alarms, conduct evacuation drills and provide fire safety guidance, with a fire marshal system in place across the University.

The Gateway is leased by the University of Lincoln but owned by a private landlord. A new independent fire safety assessment commissioned by the University has made a number of recommendations to improve fire safety at The Gateway, including the need to make improvements to fire stopping and stairwells to enhance internal fire compartmentation. The work would create substantial disruption to tenants if carried out while the building is occupied.

Student safety is our utmost priority and, while other mitigation measures can manage fire safety risks in the interim, having consulted with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, we have concluded it is in the best interests of our students to vacate the building while we liaise with the building owner to make the necessary improvements. 

Why are you moving students out of The Gateway? 

The Gateway is leased by the University of Lincoln but owned by a private landlord. A new independent fire safety assessment commissioned by the University has made a number of recommendations to improve fire safety at The Gateway, notably the need to make improvements to fire stopping and stairwells to enhance internal fire compartmentation. The work would create substantial disruption to tenants if carried out while the building is occupied.  

The University’s highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students and, while other mitigation measures can manage fire safety risks in the interim, having consulted with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, we have concluded it is in the best interests of our students to vacate the building while we liaise with the building owner to make the necessary improvements.   

 What is the issue at The Gateway?  

A new independent fire safety assessment commissioned by the University has made a number of recommendations to improve fire safety at The Gateway, notably the need to make improvements to fire stopping and stairwells to enhance internal fire compartmentation. The work would create substantial disruption to tenants if carried out while the building is occupied. 

When did the University know of the issues? 

The University regularly reviews fire safety measures and evacuation procedures in all our academic and residential buildings to ensure they are of the highest standard. As a matter of course we routinely test fire alarms, conduct evacuation drills and provide fire safety guidance, with a fire marshal system in place across the University. We also liaise with landlords where buildings are leased by the University, as is the case with The Gateway.

We asked an independent fire safety engineer to review safety measures within The Gateway. The report was received on Monday 10 October and the University took immediate action on the recommendations, including adding additional fire safety inspections and marshals. This is not a long-term solution, and in the interests of student safety and wellbeing, and also to minimise further disruption to students as much as possible, the University is relocating students to enable remedial works to be carried out by the landlord.  

How long will the work take – and will students be able to move back in afterwards? 

The remedial works will take several months and have not yet been scheduled by the landlord. We do not anticipate the Gateway will be ready for tenants to occupy again this academic year once the works begin.

Where are the students going to live? 

The University has identified a range of alternative student accommodation from within its portfolio and with third party student accommodation providers in the City. The specific needs of students will be taken into account to ensure new accommodation is appropriate for their needs. 

How are you supporting students affected? 

The University’s Accommodation team will be able to provide support and advice on options available and the practicalities of moving. The University’s Student Support and Advice Team can also offer specialist support, advice and guidance. The University’s Accommodation Services team will be in contact with all Gateway tenants to advise students of their options and next steps. Students can book a one-to-one appointment to speak to an advisor in an Enquiries Centre at the tepee (next to the Library) from Monday 17 October.  The University will arrange removals at no cost to students when they move to their new residence with help available for packing and unpacking.

Will the University be making a disruption payment to students? 

Students who wish to be released from their tenancy agreements with the University can request to do so and will pay rent only or the period up to the date they serve notice.

If there is any difference in cost between The Gateway and the new accommodation provided by the University, tenants will be pay the lower amount. The University will also be giving all Gateway tenants a one-off disruption payment of £500. This will be paid by BACS transfer to the bank account nominated by the student tenant (not automatically to the account used for rental instalments). The Accommodation team will be in contact with Gateway residents to confirm this.  In the case of dual occupancy studios, the payment will be paid per studio to the main tenant.

Students may have made friends within accommodation – will they now be separated?   

We appreciate some students will want to relocate with friends they have made in their accommodation. The University Accommodation Services team will help students to consider available options.  

What if students are not happy with their alternative accommodation?  

If students are not content with their new student accommodation, students can request an alternative is found by contacting the University Accommodation Services team, who will help students to consider other available options. If you are unhappy with the alternative accommodation we are able to offer you, and wish to be released from your tenancy agreement with the University, please contact the Accommodation team as soon as possible.

How many students are affected? 

There are around 500 student tenants in The Gateway.

There are still commercial tenants on the ground floor. Why has the whole building not been evacuated?

The fire safety recommendations relate specifically to use of The Gateway as a high-rise residential building, where people cook and sleep. They do not affect use of the ground floor, non-residential space.

Why are students still resident in Gateway while relocation is being organised? 

The University and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue have agreed additional measures which have been put in place whilst arrangements are made to relocate student tenants.  However, we ask all student tenants to be vigilant about fire safety. In particular, please do not attempt to cover or disable smoke alarms. Do familiarise yourself with evacuation procedures and follow instruction from fire marshals. 

When will students need to move out by?

Following discussion with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, residents living on the top two floors (floors 6 and 7) and in Block C will need to vacate by Friday 21 October. All other floors will need to move out by 28 October. Residents will be able to return to the building under supervision to collect possessions after this date if necessary. The University will arrange and pay for removals, including boxes for packing, and there will be help available to pack and unpack at your new accommodation in Lincoln if needed.

Do residents have the option to stay at Gateway?

People will not have the option of residing in The Gateway after 28 October (or 21 October for those on the top two floors and Block C). It will be possible to arrange collection of possessions beyond this date, under supervision.

Can students move out immediately?

If you would like to move out of the building immediately, you can return another time, under supervision to pack your belongings. The University will arrange removals for you.

What if I can’t get to teaching sessions because I need to pack/move?

Students who are unable to attend teaching sessions will be able to obtain an authorised absence.

If I move to alternative accommodation provided by the University, how will my rent be adjusted so I don’t pay more?

Each student’s circumstances will be accounted for in adjusting rent payments (for example, if you are on a February to February contract) with any reduction calculated from the day you move. If you are on a reduced rate rent (e.g. a percentage discount) you will continue to have a reduced rate at the same percentage. October’s scheduled rental instalment will be delayed from 26th October to 15th November.

I live in a dual occupancy apartment and want to stay with my partner – how will that happen?

The University will make every effort so people sharing dual occupancy apartments, including couples, can remain together in alternative accommodation.

What if the accommodation I’m offered isn’t managed by the University?

The University is seeking to agree contracts directly with external providers, so that if the alternative accommodation you are offered by the University is not managed by us, your agreement will remain with the University, but this cannot be guaranteed.