£85m Durham University deal for two new colleges

A consortium led by construction group Interserve has been selected for an £85 million project by Durham University to finance, design, build and operate two new colleges in Durham City.

The consortium, made up of Interserve, fund and asset management firm Equitix and on-campus student accommodation developer and operator Campus Living Villages UK (CLV) will finance, build and operate the two new facilities for up to 50 years.

Interserve’s construction division will design and build the two new residential facilities, which will have up to 1,000 student bed spaces, plus associated academic and social college spaces on a University-owned area of land just to the south of the city.

Interserve will also design and build a University hub building on the same site, comprising student facilities and administrative space.

Interserve chief executive Debbie White 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 further 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.”

Durham University chief operating officer Jane Robinson said: “Our ambitious University Strategy, 2017-2027 aims to ensure we continue to deliver world-class research, education and wider student experience.

“The development of two new colleges at Mount Oswald is a key project in delivering a wider student experience as good as anywhere in the world.

“We are very pleased to be working with the consortium to deliver this project.”

Facilities management services will be provided by CLV, while tenancy management, academic and pastoral activities will remain the responsibility of the University.

Space will be provided for John Snow College, which is relocating from the University’s Queen’s Campus in Stockton-on-Tees, and a new 17th college.

Campus Living Villages UK CEO Richard Gabelich said: “We are delighted to be an integral part of this consortium 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.

“This high-quality project adds to our ever-expanding portfolio across the world and we’re looking forward to working closely with our consortium partners and Durham University.”