Mount Oswald project wins Student Accommodation Awards

The Mount Oswald student accommodation project at Durham University has won two awards at the 2020 Student Accommodation Awards. The project picked up the prestigious ‘University Halls of Residence of the Year’ Award and the collaboration of Interserve, Durham University, Equitix and Campus Living Villages, was recognised when the team won the ‘Collaboration of the Year’ Award.

Student Accommodation is the UK’s premier student housing event and the awards recognise and acknowledge the projects and initiatives that have succeeded in the past year and organisations that have made a difference in challenging environments.

The Mount Oswald site includes a new home for John Snow College and the new South College. Together, the two colleges offer purpose-built, self-catering accommodation, and other College facilities such as common rooms, welfare facilities and café bars for 1,000 students. The site also has a new University Hub with a large events hall with capacity to seat 300 people, music practice rooms, and the Colleges share a gym, a launderette, a faith and quiet room, a dance studio, performance practice space and a multi-use games area (MUGA).

The Interserve Construction team utilised a wide range of digital construction software to deliver the new accommodation, which was built using a mixture of traditional construction methods and an innovative off-site system. The project was Highly Commended in the Digital Construction category at the recent Constructing Excellence North East Awards.

Mark Gardham, Director, Interserve Construction, said: “We are delighted that the Mount Oswald project has been recognised at the Student Accommodation Awards. The collaborative work of Durham University, Equitix, Campus Living Villages and Interserve has delivered an outstanding new campus that provides students with state-of-the-art facilities. The Interserve project team worked through exceptional circumstances this year to ensure that the project was delivered on time.”

Ben Leech, Director for Equitix Investments, said: “The success of the project at these awards is testament to the hard work and collaboration of the consortium teams. Equitix and its investors are proud to have delivered a modern and sustainable solution to student accommodation at one of the country’s foremost establishments, and delighted that the project has been recognised in this way.”

Jeremy Cook, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience) at Durham University, said: “The two Colleges and University Hub at Mount Oswald are first class and the feedback we have received from our students since they moved in in September has been very positive. The successful completion of the Mount Oswald project represents the delivery of a key pillar of Durham University’s ten-year Strategy and we are delighted that the quality of the development has been recognised in the Student Accommodation Awards.”

Chris Wade, a Partner at Osborne Clarke who acted as advisers on the project, said: "Congratulations to the team on this well-deserved win. It was a pleasure to be a part of the Mount Oswald project. This recognition reflects the success and ambition of the partnership between Interserve, Equitix and Campus Living Villages, and the high regard the project is held in by the wider sector."