Constructor begins £38m student scheme

Liverpool-based George Downing Construction has started work on-site at a landmark £38m student and residential accommodation scheme in Coventry city centre.

The construction firm, part of the Downing Group, has been appointed as the main contractor for the luxury 485-bedroom development. This will include 385 cluster en-suite bedrooms and studio flats for students, along with 100 residential units.

The new scheme is being delivered on behalf of student accommodation provider Downing Students and is due to complete in 2019. The architect for the scheme is SimpsonHaugh.

Planning permission has been secured for the building which will be located next to its sister site, City Village, on Bond Street. City Village, which opened in 2017, formed the first phase of Coventry’s Belgrade Plaza student complex and is one of the tallest buildings in the city.

Downing’s high-quality mixed-used scheme at Belgrade Plaza is helping to revitalise Coventry’s city centre and student campus, where accommodation is currently at a premium.

Ian Orton, director at George Downing Construction, said: “This is a major project, which will play a key role in transforming Coventry’s city centre and create a vibrant hub in the heart of the city, while providing much-needed accommodation for students and post graduates wanting to study at Coventry’s world-leading universities.

“Work is progressing well on-site at the development and we’re pleased to be delivering this exciting scheme for Downing Students, which will offer modern, high-quality living space for the local student community.

“George Downing Construction is well versed in delivering student accommodation schemes such as this and we look forward to bringing home this significant scheme, which will complete the next step towards revitalising the city’s student accommodation offering.”

George Downing Construction has an annual turnover of £70m. The company has delivered a significant portfolio of projects with a construction value of £350m across cities including Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Newcastle, and Leeds for clients including Newcastle University, Leeds Beckett University, and Downing Group over the past seven years.