Status: Under construction
Work began: Summer 2018
Work due to be completed: Hub building and Multi-Use Games Area, autumn 2019; student accommodation, summer 2020
Construction cost: £80 million
Partners: Interserve, Campus Living Villages, Equitix
Brief: Develop two colleges with a total of 1,000 student bed spaces at Mount Oswald
Operational lead: Lydia Scarth
As part of the Durham University Strategy, 2017-2027, academic programmes and Colleges have been relocated from Queen’s Campus in Stockton to Durham City, student numbers are growing to a maximum of 21,500 by 2027 and more students will live in Collegiate accommodation.
To help meet these objectives, a new home for John Snow College and a brand new College are being developed at Mount Oswald, totalling 1,000 student bed space, to be ready for use at the start of the academic year 2020/21.
The facilities will be self-catering, with a mix of en-suite rooms, shared bathrooms, cluster flats and townhouses.
There will also be a Hub, with an events hall, gym, music practice rooms, a performance practice room, a Yoga/dance studio, a launderette and a faith room, and a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA).
Planning permission was granted by Durham County Council in January 2018 and work began on site in summer 2018.
Mount Oswald Construction
Drone footage showing construction of the Mount Oswald project, January 2019
View videos and photographs during the project construction
Read Interserve Construction's Mount Oswald project newsletters
FAQs - Mount Oswald
What is the Mount Oswald project?
The Mount Oswald project includes a new home for John Snow College and a brand new College. The new facilities will be self-catering, with a mixture of en-suite and shared bathroom accommodation. There will also be a Hub building, with an events hall, music practice rooms, a performance practice room, a Yoga/dance studio, a launderette and a faith room, and a Multi-Use Games Area.
Where is Mount Oswald?
The Mount Oswald site is to the south of Durham City, across South Road from the Howlands site and close to other Colleges and Departments including Van Mildert College and Durham University Business School. It is also well served by public transport.
Why does the University want new College facilities?
The University Strategy, 2017-2027, to deliver world-class research and education and an unrivalled student experience, includes a target to growth student numbers to a maximum of 21,500 students by 2027. We value our Collegiate system and want to accommodate more of our students in Collegiate accommodation. As such, we are investing in new buildings and significant refurbishment of our existing estate.
When will the new facilities be ready?
The Hub building and Multi-Use Games Area are scheduled to come into use in autumn 2019 and the first students will move into the residential facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
Who is building the new facilities?
Construction will be undertaken by Interserve, the international support services and construction group.
How much will the project cost and how is it being funded?
The construction cost of the Mount Oswald project is £80 million.
The facilities will be built, financed and operated by a consortium including Equitix, a leading UK infrastructure manager and developer, and Campus Living Villages, a global operator and investor in student accommodation.
The University has a 15% stake in the project company.
The value of the contract over its 51-year period is £105 million.
Who will run the new facilities?
Facilities management of both Colleges will be undertaken by Campus Living Villages, who will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the buildings including general maintenance, cleaning, heating, winter maintenance and security.
Day-to-day College operations will be similar to other Durham University Colleges – managed by the Colleges, their staff and student representatives.
On-site facilities staff including housekeeping, maintenance and porters will be employed by Campus Living Villages. The site will be manned 24 hours a day, with out-of-hours cover provided by porters, in a similar approach to existing Colleges.
The University’s Accommodation and Commercial Services team will manage the operational contract management of Campus Living Villages to ensure Durham University service standards are maintained.
Is this the first time private companies have been involved in Colleges?
No. The University has a long history of working with private companies in the operation of its Colleges, particularly at Queen’s Campus.
At Mount Oswald, day-to-day College operations will be similar to other Durham University Colleges: managed by the Colleges, their staff and student representatives.
How long is the contract for running the facilities?
The University has entered into a 51-year concession with the consortium.
What will be the rental costs for students?
How were the facilities designed?
The facilities were designed by Interserve, working closely with the University. University staff, students and members of the public were involved in shaping the proposals, including during planning consultation events in October 2017.
Why was the project delayed?
It had initially been hoped the Mount Oswald project would be completed by September 2019. It is now anticipated the project will be completed for September 2020.
The delay was due to external factors beyond the University’s control.
Where will John Snow College be located for 2019/20?
For 2018/19, John Snow College is located at the Howlands site, Durham City.
John Snow College will be based at Rushford Court in the Viaduct area of Durham City for the 2019/20 academic year
Thereafter John Snow College will relocate to Mount Oswald for 2020/21 and onwards.
What will the new College be called?
A permanent name for the new College is yet to be agreed. The interim name is South College.
What are the community benefits of the project?
The development will bring a number of benefits to the local community. The events hall and Multi-Use Games Area will be made available to the community. Local suppliers will be used where possible and there will be educational visits and work placement opportunities for local schools and colleges.
How will communities access the shared spaces?
The Hub events hall and the Multi-Use Games Area will be made available for community use. Booking and pricing arrangements will be announced in due course.
What are the parking arrangements?
There will be parking provision on-site for staff, as well as accessible parking close to accessible bedrooms. There will also be dedicated parking for the Multi-Use Games Area. There will be no general parking for students. For more information on staff and student car parking, click here.