Work starts on new £4.5m student block in Bradford

CONSTRUCTION work has started on a new £4.5m student block in Bradford.

Building consultancy Fusion has started construction on the accommodation in West Yorkshire to support two of the county’s key educational institutions. Appleton Point – a six-storey, 160-apartment building – will be located within a mile of the University of Bradford and Bradford College.

The £4.5m scheme is named after the renowned and Nobel prize winning physicist Edward Appleton, who was born in Bradford.

Birmingham-based Fusion is acting as project managers and quantity surveyors on behalf of clients Mederco, which specialises in turnkey student housing schemes.

The self-contained studio apartments will feature a bed and wardrobe, furniture for studying and dining, an en-suite shower room and a kitchenette.

Occupants will also benefit from on-site facilities including a gym, cinema room, games/television room, study rooms, IT suite, and laundry facilities.

The University of Bradford is home to approximately 13,889 students, 22% of which are from overseas, and is ranked in the Sunday Times top 20 for graduate level employment in the UK. The university has recently invested £84m in its facilities, including a major refurbishment of the laboratories in the school of life sciences, improvements to sports facilities, a new MBA suite, and a library based at the school of management. The student union has also been refurbished and facilities for disabled students have been improved.

Bradford College, which has more than 23,000 students, is one of the top four largest colleges in the UK. The college is currently building a new £50m scheme as part of its five-year renewal plan.

Fusion director, Steven Jelfs, said: “We are pleased to be working with Mederco to bring new accommodation for the students of Bradford, who will also benefit from the on-site facilities.

“Both the university and college have made significant investments in their campuses and facilities and Appleton Point provides modern accommodation in a prime location, which will help them to attractive the calibre of domestic and international students they are aiming for.”

Stewart Day, of Mederco, added: “Despite recent fears over tuition fees, UCAS figures for 2013-2014 showed a 3.5% increase in applications. The current economic and financial climate has caused universities to focus on improving the standard of facilities, courses and lecturers they provide, rather than updating or providing more accommodation.”

The 14-month project is due to be completed in August 2014.

Mederco is also working with Fusion to identify sites across the UK that will be suitable for similar student accommodation schemes.