University of Southampton Acquires 100,000 sq ft Sir James Matthews Building

The University of Southampton has acquired the Sir James Matthews building, a 101,794 sq ft, five storey educational site in a transaction that will significantly increase the University’s city centre presence.

 Located on Guildhall Square in the heart of the city’s cultural centre, the Sir James Matthews building was owned by Solent University. In 2019 the business, law and digital courses were relocated and the building has been unoccupied since that time. Named after one of the city’s leading educational stalwarts, Sir James Matthews, the building will undergo a refurbishment programme, with plans to have students back on site in time for the new academic year in September.


It is very good news that the university is able to extend its city centre presence with the acquisition of the Sir James Matthews building.

Following the opening of the John Hansard Gallery in the Cultural Quarter in 2018, we also established some of our administration offices in the Guildhall Square. Adding a new educational space to our existing portfolio, along with the student accommodation at Mayflower will undoubtedly benefit the local economy and cultural vibrancy in Southampton.

Phil Wright, Senior Vice President University of Southampton

The acquisition of the Sir James Matthews building is an exciting move for the University, further increasing its presence within the City Centre. CBRE is very pleased to have provided commercial and technical advice to the University of Southampton on this transaction.

 We look forward to seeing the refurbishment completed and students being on site.

Alex Davies, Associate Director, CBRE Investment Properties

Solent University was advised by Weightmans and Savills. University of Southampton was advised by Lester Aldridge and CBRE.