UCL News


UCL appoints new Director of Estates and honours outgoing Director, Andrew Grainger

27 June 2018

Andrew Grainger, Director of Estates, will be stepping down in July after working at UCL for nine years.

Andrew and Francesca

During this time, he has led the transformation of UCL's central London estate of 230 buildings, delivered a large part of £1.3 billion capital investment programme particularly in Bloomsbury and secured the long-term opportunity, UCL East on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, recently announced by the Mayor of London as part of the East Bank development.

UCL East represents the largest single expansion of UCL since the university was founded nearly 200 years ago. The site's radical new model for how a university campus can be embedded within the community is testament to Andrew's career-long commitment to the regeneration of east London, and his belief in the profound impact UCL and its activities will make to the area.   

During his time at UCL he has also streamlined the university's approach to estate development and improvement, embedded high levels of environmental performance across all estate activities and secured a sustainable and dynamic long-term future for UCL's estate. 

Andrew will continue to work for UCL Estates on a part time basis. Stepping into the vacated position of Director of Estates is Francesca Fryer, an experienced senior leader whose expertise will skilfully carry the UCL Estates vision forward. 

Francesca will be joining the university from the Ministry of Defence, where she is Head of Estates Strategy. She has over thirty years of experience in the estates sector, and an in-depth knowledge of working at the strategic level with a range of organisations, including in the public sector, media, finance, and professional services.

Prior to joining the Ministry of Defence, Francesca was Workplace Director for the BBC's core campus in White City where she played a leading role in the BBC's transformation programme, including setting strategic vision and delivering a range of capital projects and services.

A leader in corporate real estate, she has worked in posts across Europe, the Asia Pacific, and the USA. She has advised her clients on topics ranging from tenure and financial structuring, workplace and utilisation, demographics and location selection, property acquisitions and disposals, asset strategy, organisational design and enhanced performance management.

At the Ministry of Defence, Francesca has been involved in facilitating a generational shift in the laydown of the Armed Forces, including the planning of the infrastructure and service accommodation for some 20,000 service personnel and their families from Germany.

Francesca will take over from Andrew in directing UCL Estates key responsibilities, including managing the estate and facilities infrastructure of UCL in strategic and operational fields. Their ambit covers property acquisition and management, capital projects, engineering and maintenance, environmental sustainability, safety and security.

Prior to coming to UCL, Andrew worked as Head of Property at British Airways PLC, where he led the strategy for British Airway's property portfolio. Over his career he has also held positions at London Docklands Development Corporation (including as Head of Land Development) and in corporate property management.

We thank him for his leadership during his time at UCL and look forward to the oversight of Francesca in her new post.   


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  • Andrew Grainger and Francesca Fryer