A flagship University of York student accommodation campus has reached completion, creating 1,480 beds across 18 accommodation blocks for the increasing student population.

Delivered by GRAHAM and forming part of the Heslington East Campus, the new neighbourhood is between the North and South lakes and has formed the desired gateway to the west campus.

The £130m project included the design, build, financing and ongoing operation of three and four storey blocks, and two social hubs (David Kato College and Anne Lister College), all complete with public realm and landscaping works. GRAHAM and Equitix were joint investors.


With a combined space of over 400,000 sq ft, the student accommodation aligns with the University of York’s development masterplan. Works to complete the development have taken less than three years to complete.

Equitix Management Services Ltd (EMS) delivered the Management Services Agreement on behalf of Civitas Living LLP (the SHP), comprising construction contract management, financial management and facilities management.

EMS also administered a number of variations to the project, including the early delivery of three residential blocks.


Gary Holmes, regional managing director at GRAHAM Building North, said: “There is an acute demand for purpose-built student accommodation across the UK and the successful delivery of the new space at University of York will offer exceptional quality living spaces for students.

“By embracing modern methods of construction (MMC), GRAHAM is proud to have delivered sustainable residences that had the designs meticulously developed using an extensive dialogue process involving all the key stakeholders, ensuring the development addresses the needs of both students and the wider university community.”


Hugh Crossley, chief executive officer for Equitix, said: “Our investment at York extends beyond rooms and responding to capacity issues, it delivers accommodation that promotes a truly enhanced student experience.

“Equitix fully understands the influence the built environment has on the overall university experience and as such we have worked with our partners to ensure we have developed a bespoke, high quality scheme that permits students to live, study and socialise in comfortable, safe and inspiring spaces.

“From the employment of offsite manufacture, to the integration to the university’s district heating system the development is an outstanding addition to Equitix’s portfolio of student accommodation projects.”



Vice-Chancellor of University of York, Charlie Jeffery, said: “Increasing our provision of high quality on-campus accommodation is a key priority for us and the opening of 1,480 new bedrooms this year without any delays to the project is fantastic news.

“These two new colleges offer us much needed extra space and help us keep pace with the growing demand for on-campus accommodation.”


Harvey Dowdy, director of technology, estates and facilities at the university, added: “Our new colleges are a fantastic asset to the university. To deliver a project of this size through a global pandemic is a tremendous achievement for everyone involved.”

Source: The Business Desk

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