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Unite to Work on Expanding Old Durham PBSA

clock iconCreated At:07 September, 2023
write iconCreated By:Samir Badawy

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Unite has announced the exciting news of its collaboration with Durham University to expand the old Rushord Court PBSA, which is expected to be complete by Autumn 2024. This PBSA was first repurposed by Unite back in 2018 after being repurposed from an 1853-established County Hospital to a PBSA after its closure in 2010.

This new expansion is set to add an additional 358 new Durham student accommodation rooms while also including a two-storey building for amenities. The amenity building will come with great facilities, such as a cafe, common room, study spaces, and not to mention, while repurposing the reception into a yoga and gym facility.

This project will also be sustainable and was endorsed by the Durham County Council’s planning committee, which approved the project for being environmentally friendly as it focused on biodiversity and low carbon emissions.

The previous PBSA served as a temporary residence for students attending Durham University’s John Snow College during their 2019/2020 term. Besides the expansion work being done, the Harding building will accommodate offices for the college’s staff and study spaces while working on the building’s historic entrance. This new expansion will also accommodate Durham University’s newest college, the College of St. Bede, as of September 2024 and will strengthen Unite’s relationship with the university. 

Rushford Court’s use as a temporary residence of students at the College of St.Bede is a result of Durham University’s Leazes Road site’s development. In the university’s long-term plan, however, Rushford Court will be used as the university’s newest college, which will be its 18th college.

Many within Unite and Durham University are very excited about this new step. The Chief Executive of Unite Students, Richard Smith, stated: “We're delighted to start work to upgrade Rushford Court, delivering new facilities on site to enable the property to become Durham University's newest college. This is an exciting step forward as it allows us to strengthen our ongoing partnership with Durham University.” He also stated, "I look forward to seeing the scheme progress over the next year and ultimately students and college staff enjoying the use of the building for many years to come."

Jeremy Cook, Durham’s pro-vice chancellor of colleges and student experience, released the following statement: “This exciting development will enable the university to provide a home to our much-loved Hild Bede College, while we redevelop their historic home!”. He later added: "Following this, it is intended for Rushford Court to become our newest college, creating a thriving community of students at all levels of study from all subject areas."


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