Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University, formerly known as Leeds Metropolitan University and before that as Leeds Polytechnic, is a public university in Leeds, West Yorkshire. It has campuses in the city centre and Headingley. The University has approximately 2,900 staff and more than 28,000 students from almost 100 countries around the world.

Litmus’ work has increased the university’s revenues and reduced costs, which has resulted in a beneficial return of over £5 million pounds.


Litmus was originally appointed over 10 years ago by Leeds Beckett University (then Leeds Metropolitan) to assist through a number of contracts. The challenges the University was facing were that the services were set up in silos with customer facing services amalgamated with asset management. A review was needed to investigate service delivery, compliance and costs across the campus.


Litmus was briefed to create a service strategy for the University and also to put forward a critical path in how this new strategy could be achieved.

It was important that the services were not operating in silo anymore, but in a more unified way, which would be easier to manage and ensure standards were consistent across the campus.

The University was also keen to investigate whether costs could be reduced.


Nigel Forbes, the Litmus Partnership, said: “We started by reviewing the current operation so we could take a view on the levels of compliance and delivery performance.  With this, we were then able to review the costs and understand if they were excessive.

“Following our review, we recommended that a common tender framework was introduced across all service lines, along with a standard service delivery across all sites. Contractual KPI’s and SLAs were developed and along with the recommendation that regular management performance meetings took place. We also suggested that a single point of contact was put in place to ensure management of contract and escalation of issues could be dealt with effectively.

“Essentially, this was a case of bringing everything in line and creating a platform for an economic and effective delivery of the services, which would then lead to substantial overall savings. Once a strong foundation was in place, the University could innovate and develop across the site.”


The University agreed with Litmus’ recommendations which resulted in the formation of CARES (Catering and Residential Services). CARES’ reporting line moved to Finance and Commercial Director and new service concepts and technologies were introduced which improved efficiency.

A single point of contact within each vendor organisation was also introduced with services such as cleaning, security, post room and portering services further reviewed.

These changes resulted in a reduction in costs and an increase in revenue, through multi-skilling and an adoption of customer-facing strategies.

Litmus also re-designed the food services and assisted the University on some of the services being contracted out.

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“Litmus’ work has increased our revenues and reduced our costs, which has resulted in a beneficial return to the university of over £5 million pounds.  They have been instrumental to the growth and success of our business. They ask good questions, have lots of ideas and they gave us plenty of excellent practical guidance and advice.”

David Collett, Head of Campus & Residential Services, Leeds Beckett University