Construction firm starts work on student accommodation block

Project close to Newcastle University maintains features of 18th century townhouses

Opus Building Services start refurbishment work at Claremont Place. Left to right is Mark Triggs Site Supervisor and Scott Louis, Project Manager
Opus Building Services start refurbishment work at Claremont Place. Left to right is Mark Triggs Site Supervisor and Scott Louis, Project Manager

Construction specialists Opus Building Services have started work on a £7.5m student accommodation development in the heart of Newcastle city centre.

Property firm Ziggurat was last year granted permission to convert eight properties in Claremont Place – on the doorstep of Northumbria and Newcastle universities – creating 92 self-contained studios for students.

The buildings had been put up for sale by Newcastle University in 2012, and lengthy design work has been carried out since last year’s sale to make sure the original 19th-century townhouse features are kept in place.

Now Boldon-based Opus, electrical and mechanical contractors, will complete the conversion work for developer Ziggurat in a contract worth over £1m.

The first self-contained residential show studio will be complete in March 2015 and all 92 properties finished by the summer of 2015 in time for the new academic year.

The scheme is likely to appeal to post-graduate students but will also be marketed to under-graduates. The studios include generous rooms with en-suite bathrooms and kitchens set in attractive gardens close to Newcastle University and with easy access to the city centre.

Gavin Richardson, managing director of Opus Building Services, said: “We have an established track record for conversion and refurbishment projects of this type in the region and work extensively in the education and health sectors from student and office accommodation to critical care installations.

“Our work in the education sector is not limited to student accommodation.

“We have also worked with Newcastle University in the past to upgrade the medical school including the installation of a new HV/LV Substation within the Medical School Building to serve the new University ION Building within the RVI, as well as refurbishing Wolfson Building on the campus for Ageing and Vitality as part of the Science City initiative.

“We also restored and upgraded the student accommodation at Windsor Terrace and St Mary’s College and Henderson Hall, Halls of Residence Student Accommodation Scheme.

“The Claremont Place building will be right in the city centre and a high-quality addition to the student property infrastructure in Newcastle and we’re delighted to be delivering the project.”

Opus Building Services provide specialist electrical, heating and plumbing services across a range of sectors including commercial and retail, healthcare, education, sports and leisure as well as industrial and manufacturing.

The company recently relocated its headquarters to Boldon due to rapid expansion.

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