The £20 million scheme to redevelop the site of the former Tyne Tees Television studios has started with major ground works to level the site. With a six metre drop across the site, over 5,000 tonnes of earth is being removed as part of the first phase to develop high-end student accommodation to be known as ‘The Studios U-Student Village’ on Newcastle’s City Road.
Regional contractor Northern Developments are developing the site on behalf of U-Student to provide 386 bedrooms. Due for release for students in autumn 2014 the project will provide employment for up to 80 during the construction period and then a further 15 permanent through U-Student and their various suppliers/contractors when complete. Northern Developments have worked closely with Newcastle City Council to ensure that local people will be employed where possible during the construction phase.
Harvey Emms, Director of Housing, Planning and Transport at Newcastle City Council said, ‘We are delighted that the Northern Developments scheme will be contemporary and stylish and once again put this important location firmly ‘back on the map’. Northern Developments are creating both short term construction and long term building management jobs which is a further boost to the City’s economy’.
The scheme is the latest in a number of successful projects undertaken by Northern Developments and further demonstrates their confidence in the construction market despite the underlying economic climate.
Once the ground works (which will include 560 piles) are complete the new building will rapidly take shape as the structure and skin of the building are formed by over 2,000 4m x 4m concrete panels which are fabricated off site prior to being lowered into place on the structure. Once installed, the modular panels are ready for second fix electrics and plumbing and for the bathroom ‘pods’ to simply ‘plug-in’.
Eddie Ward at Northern Developments said, ‘We have invested in excess of £20 million into this scheme at a time when the construction and property industries are depressed nationally. This is an important site in a prestigious location and we are utilising sophisticated pre-cast concrete building techniques which will allow us to erect all 9 storeys in only 14 weeks’.
U-Student has developed and currently manages just under 600 student rooms in Carlisle and Sunderland. The company provides high quality, secure and vibrant accommodation ranging from standard study rooms through to studio apartments with prices for The Studios expected to be from around £105 per week for a standard room and up to £200 per week for a studio apartment. There will also be a number of specifically designed wheel chair accessible rooms. The company is planning further student developments in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Edinburgh with a target of 3,500 bedrooms by 2018.
Louise Boak, Accommodation Administrator for U-Student, said ‘This development represents a really exciting opportunity for U-Student to build a striking new building on a truly iconic site. The prestigious location is perfect for the student population in Newcastle with both universities and the city centre in Newcastle only a short walk away. The fact that we commission the design & build and then manage the on-going letting and property maintenance allows us to implement the highest levels of quality at all levels of the process’.
Northern Developments purchased a large section of the former Tyne Tees Television site from Buccleuch Property who maintains an interest in the development of a 130 bedroom hotel and 30 separate two and three bedroom residential apartments on the remaining land.
Sandy Smith, Development Director for Buccleuch Property, commented: ‘From the outset of the project we worked very closely with the team at Northern Developments as landowner and developer to jointly apply for planning consent. Their ability to be able to deliver on their promises has been the cornerstone of the relationship and is particularly refreshing in the current economic climate. The result is a project that will provide stylish student accommodation in a building that the city can be truly proud of ’.
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