Plans to build nearly 650 new student bedrooms on the Colchester Campus are moving ahead, with the appointment of a preferred bidder to design, build, finance and operate the new development.
The University has appointed a consortium of experienced developers and operators, Uliving, made up of developer Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator Derwent Living.
They are due to start work on The Meadows site, off Boundary Road, adjoining the major Knowledge Gateway development, in April 2012.
The £22 million complex of town houses, accommodating 228 students in groups of 12, plus en-suite flat clusters for a further 420 students, and a social pavilion, is due to open in autumn 2013. When completed, Uliving will manage The Meadows and the adjoining University Quays accommodation.
With record numbers of students gaining places at Essex, the University is committed to continuing to provide high quality on-campus accommodation for first year and overseas students as part of its aim of ensuring a positive student experience.
Peter Church, Director of Essex Commercial Services, which is responsible for student residences, said: “This development will add to the variety of accommodation on offer, with the town houses ideal for groups of students who wish to share together. The town square and social pavilion will also help to create a real sense of community for residents.
“We look forward to working with Bouygues Development, which brings vast experience of development, construction and project management, and with Derwent Living, which has a track record of successfully managing student and other accommodation.”
Stephane Slama-Royer from Uliving said: “We are hugely pleased to be a part of this exciting journey with one of the leading universities in the UK, where our knowledge and expertise can really be maximised. The development is set to enhance the lives of students at the University of Essex, not just in terms of high class, modern living space, but for the sense of solidarity and community spirit that is integral to the university experience.”
The proposed designs are currently on display to the University community on the Colchester Campus. A planning application is due to be submitted to Colchester Borough Council this month.