Foundations laid for UWE's 'next generation' student village

Issue date: 17 January 2005


ISSUE DATE: 17/01/05

Building work has now begun on the new student village at the University of the West of England’s Frenchay Campus – part of the University’s £200m investment programme – one of the largest university capital investment programmes in the country.

Giant pile driving equipment arrived on Campus in the New Year and began drilling the foundations for the University’s £75m development of student accommodation and sports facilities to meet the needs of the next generation of students.

The pile driving equipment, which is about seven metres high, consists of an enormous drill which is driven down into the ground for several metres creating a hole which is then filled with concrete to create deep foundations. The piling work is being carried out by Stent Foundations Limited, one of the UK’s leading piling contractors.

In December the site was fenced off and many of the smaller trees on the site were dug up and taken to a nursery for the duration of the building process. On completion of the work they will be moved back to be used for the new landscaping of the pedestrianised areas.

The project includes new sport facilities and accommodation for nearly 2,000 students and is due for completion by September 2006. The University received planning permission for the development from South Gloucestershire Council in October 2004.

The new student accommodation will be linked to the University’s network and make accessible from the student flats most of the facilities available in tutorial rooms, computer labs and the library. This includes UWE’s on-line virtual learning environment (one of the largest in the UK), databases and fast internet access.

Vice Chancellor Alfred Morris said, “The plans anticipate the needs of the next generation of students. The integration of academic, study and social experiences will help new students feel more involved and better supported by the University. The accommodation itself will draw on the latest best practice in terms of accessibility, security and sustainability.”

The plans for new accommodation and sports facilities also take account of student feedback – in UWE’s annual student satisfaction survey 85% of students felt it important to provide accommodation for first year students on or close to the campus.

The project is being built by Carillion plc, designed by Building Design Partnership (BDP), and managed by Capita Symonds.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

Visual available, caption: Giant pile drivers start work on UWE’s flagship student village project.

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