Plans for new student residences
12 February 2013
Designs for the new student residences to be built on Penglais Farm have been made public for the first time.
On Monday 4 February the University announced that Balfour Beatty was its preferred bidder for the development of the new residences which represents a capital investment of around £45m.
Members of the public, students and staff were invited to view the designs of new proposed development at Penbryn on Friday 8 February and at the Old College on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12.
Located immediately behind the existing award winning Pentre Jane Morgan student village and within walking distance of the University’s Penglais and Llanbadarn campuses, the new residences will provide accommodation for 1000 students and include 100 studio flats.
Inspired by the landscape and architecture of rural Wales, the new development features a series of three storey buildings with flats for six or eight students living in self-catered accommodation.
Generous en-suite bedrooms will offer students plenty of space for living and studying and will be equipped with hard wired and Wi-Fi internet access.
Building work is expected to start this summer and the first students will be able to move in for the beginning of the 2014 academic year.
Amongst the first to take up residence will be those living at Pantycelyn. Originally built in 1951, Pantycelyn opened as a hall for Welsh speaking students in 1973 and has attracted generations of young people wishing to study and live through the medium of Welsh.
In contrast to the current Pantycelyn, which has remained virtually unchanged from when it was opened over 60 years ago, the new Pantycelyn will offer so much more.
And the students have been part of the process of helping the University ensure that the new residences reflect their aspirations and the priorities of UMCA (the Welsh Students’ Union) and the Students’ Union so the entire development works to enhance the student living experience.
A central hub will also provide a range of social, learning and living functions including launderettes, bike stores, communal space for clubs and societies, and computing facilities. There will also be a new grass sports pitch.
The announcement of a preferred bidder for the project represents the culmination of a process initiated back in March 2011. Through a process known as Competitive Dialogue the University received a very high level of tenders from developers, before finally awarding preferred bidder status to Balfour Beatty.
Balfour Beatty will now submit detailed plans to the planning authority to discharge the "reserved matters". Outline planning permission was granted to the project in March 2012.
The University project team has been led by Mr James Wallace, Director of Campus Services. Speaking after the announcement of the preferred bidder, he said: “We are pleased with the progress made with the competitive dialogue process. We expect our new residences to be handed over to us in 2014 and have students living in this fantastic new purpose-built accommodation, which will be an important step towards achieving the University’s strategic goals”.
Balfour Beatty CEO Designate, Andrew McNaughton, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as preferred bidder for this long-term contract in the student accommodation sector, our second success in this area in five months. We look forward to working with the local supply chain to deliver this project.”
Balfour Beatty is also developing student accommodation for the University of Edinburgh in a project valued at £110m.
Once operational, the University will provide student services in the new residences, whilst Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the upkeep of the buildings.
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Elinor Howells , Communications and Public Affairs, Aberystwyth University, 01970 628551 / elh45@Aber.ac.uk