£9m residences for postgraduate students
(9 September 2005)
Ustinov College has added a new £9 million development to its stock of housing for postgraduate students at Durham University, in a special partnership with Kepier Homes.
Dryburn Court provides accommodation for 118 students in two purpose-built buildings for single people, couples and families.
Formerly the site of Dryburn Hospital, the land has been transformed with an investment of nearly £9m. Its developer, Kepier Homes, was set up between Three Rivers Housing Group and Portfolio Projects Limited - a part of Laing O’Rourke - to help raise the private finance required to provide the accommodation. The housing is leased by the University and run by Kepier Homes on behalf of Ustinov College.
Professor Tim Burt, Dean of Colleges at the University of Durham, said: “The ability to offer high quality accommodation and facilities is part of an important mix of features to attract the best graduate students to the University.
He added: “These buildings are a fine and welcome addition to Ustinov College and I’m sure the students will be excited about moving in.”
The new development helps reduce housing pressure by replacing a range of dated accommodation, including Kepier Court off Claypath, with additional accommodation just on the edge of the city centre.
Durham University, the first university in North East England, is one of the country's leading research-intensive institutions with 85 per cent of staff engaged in work that is recognised for its international quality. There are more than 3,500 full-time and part-time postgraduate students, on taught courses and research programmes for masters' degrees and doctorates.
Most of the full-time residential students, about 1,300, are members of Ustinov College, which is consolidating itself on two sites - Dryburn Court and Howlands, off South Road, Durham, in place of more than half a dozen former locations scattered around the city. The College also welcome its new Principal, Dr Penelope Wilson, at the beginning of September.
One new building, Keenan House, is named after a major contributor to Three Rivers Housing Group, Dan Keenan, a long-serving board member with the leading local housing provider. The second is Brackenbury House, as a tribute to one of the University’s early philanthropists in the nineteenth century, Hannah Brackenbury, who endowed a series of professorships.
Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for Durham City, who performed the official opening, said: “I want to pay tribute to the University and all the people involved in this partnership who have come together to put up this building.”
“The University is very important to the whole fabric of the city. We must support the University in all that it does to attract really high calibre international and UK students to Durham.”
“I am very happy to be opening this new development at Dryburn Court. These new facilities are certain to attract the best post graduate students which our University needs and deserves.
“Dryburn Court will go a long way to replacing older and scattered accommodation throughout Durham for post-graduates and will help Ustinov College become more focussed as it is settles on two main sites.
“I am confident that this accommodation will be in great demand and that those students lucky enough to live here will not be disappointed.”
Private partners in the development include Ryders HKS, White Young Green and RNJ Partnership.
For more information about Ustinov College go to: www.dur.ac.uk/ustinov.college