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Rushford Court

Planning permission has been granted by Durham County Council for Unite Students, the owners and operators of Rushford Court, to develop and improve the site in partnership with Durham University, creating an enhanced student accommodation offer.  

What work is taking place? 

Work began on 7 August, which will see the restored Victorian hospital being upgraded to provide student and staff facilities including College staff offices, welfare and study spaces. Building work will also deliver a new College Heart building which will house common rooms, study areas and a café bar in addition to the facilities already on offer at the 358 room property. 

Students will remain in residence while the redevelopment works are carried out. 

How will it look? 

The new two-storey Heart building will be built adjacent to the current buildings and external alterations – including reinstating the historic entrance and new landscaping – will be carried out in 2024. Additional landscaping and usable spaces will also be added to the heart building’s roof.   

Architect image of Rushford Court development

How will the building be used? 

Rushford Court will, in the first instance, be the temporary home of the College of St Hild and St Bede during refurbishments of the college’s current Leazes Road site. Longer term, it is hoped that the site will be established as the University’s 18th college. 

About Rushford Court 

​​​​​​Rushford Court first opened as County Hospital in 1853, closing in 2010. Unite Students opened it as student accommodation in 2018. It was previously used as the temporary home for the University’s John Snow College during the 2019-2020 academic year, while the University’s Mount Oswald development was completed, comprising both John Snow and South Colleges.

Key milestones 

March 2023: Planning permission granted 

August 2023 - January 2024: Site preparation works 

January 2024: Building of College heart commences 

September 2024: Work complete  


Should you need to contact the team about this project please use the details below:

Unite Students:

Chris James, AMI Project Manager: 

Durham University:

Chris Hindmarch, Senior Project Manager:


We will continue to update this page as work progresses.