Newcastle's Grand Hotel turned into student accommodation

The Grand Hotel in Newcastle city centre has been transformed by international support services and construction group Interserve which completed the refurbishment of the building for Newcastle University

Grand Hotel in Newcastle city centre which has been transformed into student housing
Grand Hotel in Newcastle city centre which has been transformed into student housing

A historic city hotel has been given a new lease of life after a £2.3m cash injection to turn it into student accommodation.

The 112-year old Grand Hotel in Newcastle city centre has been transformed by international support services and construction group Interserve which completed the refurbishment of the building for Newcastle University.

The project saw the creation of 66 en-suite bedrooms, 11 kitchens, three lounges, office space and a new lift for disabled access.

The Grade II-listed city centre hotel was built in 1902 and bought by the university in 1958 to accommodate students from across the globe. The majority of work focused on the building’s interior but the hotel’s Victorian façade was also carefully preserved with the property’s ‘Grand Hotel’ lettering – carved into stone between two ball-finial capped gables – retained. Interserve took on the repair and renovation of the building’s stonework facade, replacing 100 stone balusters to the parapet to mirror the original installations.

There were around £100,000 worth of roofing repairs, including the replacement of Westmorland slate tiles for the building’s roof. The main staircase has been retained, which was extended to incorporate new handrails and spindles.

“The challenge of this project has been to deliver hardwearing, modern facilities in a Victorian building that will meet the long-term needs of the university and its students, all within a city centre location which demanded a specialist approach to access and sensitive handling of the immediate vicinity,” said Michael Evans, Interserve’s senior quantity surveyor on the project.

Newcastle University’s in-house design team fully designed the project, including an intelligent Building Management System, which incorporate sheating, lighting, power and window controls that are activated and controlled by card readers in the door of each bedroom.

“Close working between the design team from Newcastle University and the project team from Interserve was made easier by a long-standing relationship between the two parties. 

“This allowed a regular flow of information to progress the project,” said Robin Beattie, Newcastle University’s building surveyor.

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