The transformation of the University of Brighton’s largest campus has entered a new phase with the start of work on the site of five new student accommodation blocks that will transform a stretch of the city’s busy Lewes Road.
The five new towers at the Moulsecoomb campus, ranging in height from 8 to 18 floors, will provide over 800 affordable student bedrooms and space at ground level for new Students’ Union and fitness facilities. The visually striking development is being built on the site of the university’s Mithras House car park and is due to be ready for students starting courses from September 2021.
University of Brighton Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris said: "This is a huge milestone as work begins on the next stage of the university’s biggest ever capital development programme. The new student accommodation and other facilities that form part of the Big Build will transform our biggest campus. But just as importantly, along with the commercial development of the neighbouring Preston Barracks site they will also transform the whole local area for the benefit of all who live, work and study there."
Development partner Uliving is taking on the financing, development and management of the new student facilities with a 50-year operating term. Its investment partner is John Laing and Aviva Investors’ Lime Property Fund is providing long-term development finance through an income strip deal. The development will be delivered by construction company Bouygues UK, and Bouygues Energies and Services will be in charge of facilities management. Axel Boutrolle, Uliving’s CEO, said: "We are excited to be working with the University of Brighton to bring its ambitions to life. The Moulsecoomb campus will boost the availability of modern, high-quality, purpose built student accommodation in this vibrant city, freeing up homes for local families".
The campus transformation started last September when work got underway on a new multi-storey car park that will replace all existing surface parking at the campus. The new car park is now well underway and will open at the end of May this year.
Land freed up by the multi-storey car park is being used for the new student facilities and a new academic building that will provide a state-of-the-art home for the university's Business School. A new pedestrian bridge across the busy Lewes Road will link both sides of the campus, with improved walking routes through the campus, new green spaces and extensive landscaping.
With no planned increase in student numbers the new student accommodation will reduce pressure on local housing whilst students taking up rooms will not be allowed to bring cars to the campus.
The entire campus development is being built to the highest environmental standards with an emphasis on sustainability and will incorporate over 300 native species trees across the campus.