By Clara Gaspar
Work has begun on an £80 million project to develop a new College and student facilities at Durham University.
The project involves the relocation of John Snow College as well as the building of a brand-new college at the Mount Oswald site to the south of Durham City. The new developments will provide room for 1,000 students.
The new facilities received planning permission in January 2018 from the Durham County Council. They will be self-catered, with a mixture of en-suite and shared bathroom accommodation.
The new project will also feature a new Hub building which will host an events hall, music practice rooms, a performance practice room, a Yoga/dance studio, a launderette and a faith room, and a Multi-Use Games Area.
The Hub and games area will be ready to use in Autumn of next year, while the first students are set to move into the new accommodation for the academic year 2020/21.
The events hall and MUGA will be made available to Durham’s community. In addition, the University have stated that local suppliers will be used where possible and there will be educational visits and work placement opportunities for local schools and colleges.
The beginning of construction work was celebrated at a turf-cutting ceremony on Monday.
Throughout the planning process, University staff, students and members of the public have been involved in shaping the proposals, including during planning consultation events in October of last year.
Owen Adams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Durham University, has stated: “Durham University combines world-class research and education with an outstanding wider student experience.
“Our Colleges are a key part of this wider student experience, along with Durham Students’ Union and Experience Durham, and we are excited to be developing both a new home for John Snow College and our first brand new College since Josephine Butler College was established 12 years ago.
“These new facilities will benefit our students and also the local community, as we increasingly share our facilities with our neighbours and increase the proportion of our students living in Collegiate accommodation.”
Was good to attend the turf-cutting ceremony this evening marking the start of building works at the Mount Oswald site. Hope to see the new colleges there provide a great home for @JohnSnowCollege and the 17th college for many years to come! #MountOswald
— Seun Twins (@DurhamSUpres) September 3, 2018
George Walker, President of Durham Students’ Union, said: “I am very pleased that building work at the Mount Oswald site is now underway and we are confident that following student consultation, the site will provide an excellent home for both John Snow College and the new 17th College for years to come.
“I look forward to working with student leaders and the University to build vibrant collegiate communities at the new Mount Oswald site, ensuring that students have the best possible experience of Durham’s unique college system.”
Photograph: Durham University