About the UK HE Space Management Group (SMG)


The UK Higher Education Space Management Group (SMG) was set up in 2002 to assist higher education institutions implement best practice in the management of space.

The sector is undergoing significant change both in the demographics of the student body and from technologically driven changes in teaching and learning. Currently the changed financial climate and resultant government budget cuts have created challenging times for the sector and made good space management a way of mitigating budget cuts.

Effective space management techniques are an important management tool in the increasingly dynamic and diverse higher education environment.

The resulting UK HE Space Management Project (SMP) was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and was led by a consortium headed by Kilner Planning and including London Economics, Alexi Marmot Associates, Professor Ronald Barnett and Dr. Paul Temple of the Institute of Education.


The focus of the project was to provide information and a path for institutions to deliver effective space management of their estate, in conjunction with business benefits, without compromising the academic offerings or student experience. Specific aims included:

  • Providing comprehensive and robust reports which will provide guidance for the sector.
  • Invigorating and encouraging institutions, to take on board the good space management practices and achieve real space efficiencies.
  • Heightening awareness of the need to employ good space management practices in short, medium & long terms by continual review.
  • The successful implementation of a long-term research programme, which will inform and contribute to sector thinking.

Steering Group

The steering group was chaired by Professor David Chiddick the then VC of the University of Lincoln and included Directors of Estates, Finance, Policy and IT and Learning Services, as well as appropriate officers of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).


The project tools are updated annually with the newest Estate Management Statistics (EMS) and HESA data and, apart from institutional use are also used for the sector's Capital Investment Framework (CIF).

On completion of the SMP, the steering group had completed its tasks and was dissolved, but the good practice reports and tools which were produced, remain on the website. Also included on the website are supporting studies in areas of HE space management and relevant information on sustainable development.