NOTTINGHAM Law School, the wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of Nottingham Trent University, is considering raising u1 million in a unique equity issue to help fund its growing range of specialist courses for lawyers.
Law firms are likely to be the main private business sector to be targeted for the issue, which venture capital company 3i may handle.
Nigel Savage, managing director of the u4 million turnover law school, claims firms are already showing interest.
“We are looking at the options for financing our activities because of the pressure on funding for universities,” says Savage.
“We operate as a commercial organisation and are inevitably drawn to the conclusion that the only alternative is private inward investment. We have talked locally to 3i, which says it is a viable proposition and a good business.”
There will be no conflict between the commercial aspect of the law school and its “civic responsibilities” to the university, says Savage.
The projects Savage aims to fund include new accommodation, conference facilities, and a further range of specialist masters degrees to be launched over the next three years.
The equity issue idea is still at an early stage, however.
“It's a novel idea but we have a number of hurdles to get over before we actually implement it,” says Savage.