Work begins on new student village

Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sussex, current student resident Vita Obeng and David Swarbrick, managing director of Balfour Beatty, break the ground to officially mark the start of construction work on a new student village
Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Sussex, current student resident Vita Obeng and David Swarbrick, managing director of Balfour Beatty, break the ground to officially mark the start of construction work on a new student village

A ground-breaking ceremony marked the start of work to triple the amount of student housing at the University of Sussex East Slope site.

Work on the student village began yesterday (May 17), and Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University, and David Swarbrick, managing director of Balfour Beatty, were joined by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove Cllr Pete West, and Maureen Chowen, the High Sheriff of East Sussex, at the site in Falmer. A current East Slope resident, Vida Obeng, was a special guest at the ceremony.

The new development will triple the amount of student housing on the East Slope site from around 600 beds to more than 2,000, and it will also include a new Students’ Union building and student amenities.

Professor Davies said: “This is an exciting milestone in our plans to deliver an outstanding university experience for all our students.

“A key part of this is giving more of our students the opportunity to live on campus in high-quality accommodation, and providing a fantastic, purpose-built new home for our Students’ Union. It’s great to see this work get under way.”

The development includes 2,117 student bedrooms to replace 590 outdated units built in the 1970s, communal areas such as kitchens, common rooms, laundry space, and secure cycle parking for every resident.

Last year the university was granted outline consent for its campus Masterplan, which includes the majority of this new student accommodation. The first phase will be ready around September/October 2018, with all work completed by 2020.