2021 is not only the year of our 50th anniversary, it is also the year when we together with Akademiska Hus make financial statements for the many years of problems we have had with our buildings. We now start looking forward instead of backwards.
A lot has happened over the past few years and many measures have been taken on our campus in Luleå. An important event is when in 2019 we pushed through that a thorough inspection of all properties we rent from Akademiska Hus would be carried out. For the first time, it gave us an overall picture of the condition of our premises and an important basis for our arguments and demands for measures and compensation.
The negotiations that took place after the roof of the library collapsed – which resulted in the planned rent increases being thwarted and a comprehensive restoration of the University's outdoor environment of approximately 100 million coming into place – have also been important.
A very valuable work effort that I want to draw attention to is the time and energy that all concerned employees and students at the University have contributed by reporting errors and work-related ill health, not just once but repeatedly when they have experienced problems. Many thanks for your input. These statistics have facilitated our discussions with the landlord as they have shown negative consequences in addition to costs directly linked to moving between different houses and premises.
Many thanks also to all employees who work with our internal and external environment and with ensuring that, despite all the challenges over the years, we have had replacement premises and been able to run our business. Our workplace and work situation have not always been optimal, but our staff has through great commitment and hard work done the best possible in a difficult situation and ensured that we have delivered high quality education and research.
Finally, I would especially like to thank our university director Veronika Sundström and our head of Real Estate and Service Fredrik Edfast, who have taken the negotiations with Akademiska Hus forward in an outstanding way.
Together and with joint efforts, we have succeeded in negotiating an agreement and a compensation that is unique in its kind. We have today signed an agreement that gives us a total of 200 million SEK in compensation for direct additional costs, but also for other problems and difficulties on our premises in in recent years. The agreement covers the period until 31 December 2020 and the compensation will mainly be used to balance the rent increases for our new building during the first years after moving in.
Important piece of puzzle
The goal we are looking forward to is a new building on campus in Luleå, which takes us into the future and gives us even better conditions to conduct research, education and collaboration of the highest world class. The Delta block will be an important piece of the puzzle for us to reach our vision in 2030 and it will be a fantastically exciting journey, I think!
Thanks again to all of you. It is with joint efforts that we have come this far and it is with joint efforts that we must continue the work of securing functional and sustainable premises and outdoor environments for the University over time.
Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology.