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Work to begin on new colleges and student facilities
(2 January 2018)
Work to develop new college and student facilities at Durham University will begin within weeks.
The University anticipates work beginning on site for the Mount Oswald project, off South Road, Durham City, in March 2018 and the facilities being completed and ready for use for the academic year 2019/20.
The Mount Oswald project includes a new home for John Snow College, which is relocating from Queen’s Campus, Stockton-on-Tees, and a new 17th College, together totalling 1,000 student bed spaces.
There will also be a Hub, with an events hall, gym, music practice rooms, a launderette, faith room and administrative space, and, subject to a separate planning application, a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA).
Durham County Council granted planning permission for the development at its meeting on Tuesday 2 January.
Developing new college and student facilities is part of Durham’s University Strategy, 2017-2027, to deliver world-class research, education and wider student experience.
World-class student experience
Jane Robinson, Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are proud that Durham University combines world-class research and education with an outstanding student experience.
“Our colleges are key to that and we are very excited to be developing new colleges for the first time in over ten years.
“We are very pleased Durham County Council has supported our vision. We are looking forward to getting started on site and to the first students arriving at Mount Oswald in 2019.”
The new facilities will be high-quality residential accommodation. All facilities will be self-catering, with a mixture of en-suite and shared bathroom accommodation. Each college will have its own administrative and social space.
The project will bring a number of benefits to Durham residents, including community use of the new sports and events spaces. Local suppliers will be used where possible and during construction it will also result in the creation of 30 new jobs and six apprenticeships, as well as educational visits and work placement opportunities for local schools and colleges.
University staff, students and members of the public were involved in shaping the proposals, with formal planning consultation undertaken during October 2017.
Working in partnership
The construction contract arrangements are being finalised and, subject to final agreement, will be undertaken by Interserve, while the accommodation will be operated in partnership with Campus Living Villages.
Gordon Kew, Managing Director of Interserve’s construction division, said: “Interserve has an extensive portfolio of student accommodation projects, which demonstrates the strength and capability of our teams working in partnership with clients in the higher education sector.
“We look forward to building on our 15-year relationship with Durham University by starting work on this exciting project, following the opening of the Interserve-built Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics in March.”
Richard Gabelich, CEO of Campus Living Villages UK, added: “We are delighted to reach this exciting stage in delivering a fantastic student-centric project for one of the world’s top universities.
“We have a highly experienced team who are dedicated to contributing to the University’s objective of providing the best in student experience to an extremely competitive market.”