Latest phase of £100m colleges scheme at university set to open

WORK has been completed on a new college at a Yorkshire university, which aims to attract world class researchers to the region.

Constantine College on the Heslington East campus.
Constantine College on the Heslington East campus.

A joint venture partnership between Evans Property Group and the University of York has led to the creation of Constantine College, which is named after the Roman emperor who was acclaimed in York in 306 AD.

It is the latest phase of a scheme to provide 2,000 student beds and £100m of investment over three new colleges at the university’s Heslington East campus.

The £36m Constantine College will accommodate 621 students and tutors over eight blocks. Five blocks will be en-suite apartments, with a further three blocks of townhouses.

A new 7,500 sq ft amenity hub, which is known as The Forum, contains social space, meeting rooms and laundry facilities. The building will be fully occupied by the end of this month.

Constantine College is the third college on the 161-acre Heslington East campus extension, following the construction of Goodricke College in 2009 and Langwith College, which the joint venture completed in 2012.

Constantine College was partly funded under a long-term funding facility with Aviva Commercial Finance. The development is part of the university’s plans to double its size through a £750m campus extension on Heslington East.

This area is being transformed by a range of academic, residential and sports facilities which include a swimming pool, all-weather pitches, gym and fitness suites and a recently completed velodrome.

In recent years, the university has also invested in its original Heslington West campus with a range of new science facilities.

James Pitt, the development director of Evans Property Group, said; “We have worked successfully in partnership with the University of York for several years. Constantine College follows the successful development of the earlier phases and we are delighted to have finished ahead of schedule. We are incredibly proud to have contributed to what is undoubtedly one of the North’s most outstanding educational facilities.”

Mr Pitt said there was an air of cautious optimism in the commercial property sector, although the feelgood factor had been tempered by slowing growth in countries like Germany.

Mr Pitt also confirmed that funding was now in place for the Temple Green development near Leeds, and work is scheduled to start on the site in November.

Earlier this year, Aire Valley Land, a joint venture between Evans Property Group and Keyland Developments, revealed that it had submitted plans to Leeds City Council for its £96m Temple Green logistics and manufacturing hub.

The 165-acre site, situated at J45 of the M1, is the largest of four development sites located in the Leeds Enterprise Zone, which covers 350 acres and has the potential to deliver some 9,500 jobs by 2025.

The council recently announced £8.57m of Government funding from the Enterprise Zone Capital Grant Fund to accelerate remediation and infrastructure works at the four sites.

The first phase will incorporate Leeds City Council’s 1,000-space park and ride transport interchange, together with about 200,000 sq ft of development, for which Aire Valley Land is seeking permission for motor dealerships and a petrol filling station.

The total investment commitment by Aire Valley Land for phases one to four is estimated at around £96m.

Earlier this year, Peter Garrett, managing director of Keyland Developments, said the site would provide a development that the market desperately needs.