Activists have criticised a council's decision to approve a £37m upgrade to a site built as a memorial to Cecil Rhodes, the controversial British imperialist.
Located in Oxford city centre, Rhodes House, a Grade II listed building, will be re-modelled and have its basement converted into a conference hall for 300 people after plans were approved on Tuesday.
The Rhodes Trust, which administers a scholarship funding international students to study at Oxford University and is based at the site, said the works will help the charity raise its number of scholars from 260 to 325 by 2028 and give better access to visitors.
Oxford city councillors only marginally passed the proposals, which include improved office spaces and new accommodation, as concerns around the number of bicycle parking spaces were expressed.
The decision came after Oxford's Oriel College voted in favour of removing its statue of Rhodes, who supported apartheid-style measures in southern Africa, in June.
Rhodes Must Fall, which led protests to remove the monument in the city's High Street, have called for the trust and its headquarters in South Parks Road to be reformed and renamed.
In reference to the re-development plans, a spokesperson for the group in Oxford said Rhodes House continues to be a “contested and violent blight” on the city.
They said: “A structure such as Rhodes House was not included in the will of Cecil Rhodes. It is another example of the University venerating perpetrators of genocide and anti-Black racism.”
“Rhodes House continues it's mission to sanitize the name of Cecil Rhodes, without confronting his violent and exploitative legacy.”
“Until there is a reckoning with the legacy and genocide perpetuated by Rhodes, the Rhodes House will continue to be a contested and violent blight on the name of the University and the City of Oxford more specifically.”
Rhodes Trust said regular open days and an “explanation of its architecture and the work [to] critically engage contested legacies of the Trust” would take place following the two-year building development.