Willmott Dixon to build university student village

Plans for the Student Village Square

Willmott Dixon is to build Staffordshire University’s new Student Village which his being developed on its main Stoke-on-Trent campus - and is due for completion in 2026. 

The 700-room development received planning permission in March and Willmott Dixon, as construction delivery partner, is set to start on site imminently.

The contractor has been appointed by Staffordshire Campus Living for an improved student residential offering as part of the scheme. 

Staffordshire Campus Living is a consortium formed by Hochtief PPP Solutions UK and Ireland, Willmott Dixon, Plenary, Pinnacle Group and Staffordshire University. 

Dan Doyle, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: “This new Student Village at Staffordshire University is a significant investment in the student experience. What’s exciting is how it has been designed to blend contemporary sustainable architecture with nature in a unique natural setting. 

“We will be incorporating modern methods of construction and offsite manufacturing to ensure it is a low-carbon development. 

“Combine this with renewable energy sources, building to Passivhaus design principles and structures that are directly inspired by the setting, the university will have a development with a strong character and identity – fostering a sense of place and community.

"Offering a safe, secure, and inclusive environment, students can expect a true home from home.”

Designed by Corstorphine & Wright, FIRA and Ramboll, the village will provide 700 new student rooms in a mix of cluster blocks and townhouses. 

It includes the refurbishment of the Clarice Cliff Court accommodation that will improve its energy efficiency by 250% through new low-energy solutions.

Demolition of existing student accommodation on the university’s Leek Road site following the completion of the Student Village will make way for accessible parkland, which will result in a project biodiversity net gain of 12%. 

The Student Village also includes a net-zero carbon in operation ‘hub’, which will provide individual and group study areas, flexible use space, and an outdoor seating area on the rooftop terrace.  

A new pedestrian bridge and boardwalk will link the new accommodation and ‘hub’ with the university’s wider Leek Road site. 

Professor Martin Jones, vice-chancellor and chief executive of the university, said: “Providing an excellent student experience is a strategic priority and the Student Village is designed to respond to what students say they want. 

“With the full backing of our board of governors, we are delighted to move closer towards making a start on this project which, alongside our academic course offering and exceptional support services, will help to make us stand out in the market.” 

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