WORK has started on a £2.2m development that will regenerate a long-disused site and create Hartlepool’s first-ever student halls of residence.
The development, which will provide 56 students from Cleveland College of Art and Design with state-of-the-art, high-quality accommodation just five minutes’ walk from the college site, is due to open in September next year.
The accommodation, on the corner of Surtees Street and Tower Street, will comprise two apartment blocks, which will house 21 students each, as well as two town houses, which will accommodate seven students each.
Built and managed by Housing Hartlepool, which is part of the Vela Group, the accommodation will be allocated directly by Cleveland College of Art and Design.
The development also includes four bedrooms fully adapted for people with disabilities and other bedrooms that can be adapted.
Designed by architects JDDK, construction will be carried out by Hartlepool based Gus Robinson Developments.
The development is designed to be energy efficient and will have solar panels fitted to the roof.
Colin Wilson, group director of development for the Vela Group, said: “We are extremely proud to be creating Hartlepool’s first purpose-built student halls. The development will bring a new lease of life to the area, along with a boost to the local economy both during the construction work and once the accommodation is populated with a vibrant student population.
“Students contribute £80bn to the UK’s economy and it is crucial that Hartlepool benefits from this. The town has a long-established, well-respected art and design college, with students coming from outside the area to attend – and Hartlepool should reap the rewards by encouraging students to make their homes in the town. High-quality accommodation in a convenient location will only support this.
“As well as top-quality accommodation, which is built to the highest standards of sustainability, students will get the benefit of Housing Hartlepool’s experience and excellent track-record in managing accommodation. We are very much looking forward to welcoming the first students in September next year.”
College principal Martin Raby added: “We are delighted to see this development now underway.
“This project will enable the college to offer credible undergraduate accommodation, comparable with any new university, to students from September 2014.
“We hope that this will enable us to attract more students to the town for the duration of their degrees which should be positive for both the town and Cleveland College of Art & Design.”