Village at university's Stoke-on-Trent campus will be built to Passivhaus design principles

Willmott Dixon will be the construction delivery partner for Staffordshire University’s new Student Village being built on its main Stoke-on-Trent campus, which is due for completion in 2026.

The development received planning permission in March and Willmott Dixon is set to start on site imminently. The contractor has been appointed by Staffordshire Campus Living for an improved student residential offering as part of the scheme. Staffordshire Campus Living is a consortium formed by Hochtief PPP Solutions UK and Ireland, Willmott Dixon, Plenary, Pinnacle Group and Staffordshire University.

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Willmott Dixon has a well-established track-record delivering major projects on university campuses, including being behind the Stirling Prize winning Town House project at Kingston University in 2021. It will bring its expertise for sustainable construction and net zero in use property to meet the student village’s important ambitions that include low operational and embodied carbon, and EPC A-rated homes.

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Dan Doyle, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said:

“This new Student Village at Staffordshire University is a significant investment in the student experience. What’s exciting is how it has been designed to blend contemporary sustainable architecture with nature in a unique natural setting. We will be incorporating modern methods of construction and offsite manufacturing to ensure it is a low-carbon development. Combine this with renewable energy sources, building to Passivhaus design principles and structures that are directly inspired by the setting, the university will have a development with a strong character and identity – fostering a sense of place and community. Offering a safe, secure, and inclusive environment, students can expect a true home from home.”

Designed by Corstorphine & Wright, FIRA and Ramboll, the village will provide 700 new student rooms in a mix of cluster blocks and townhouses. It includes the refurbishment of the Clarice Cliff Court accommodation that will improve its energy efficiency by 250% through new low-energy solutions.

Demolition of existing student accommodation on the university’s Leek Road site following the completion of the Student Village will make way for accessible parkland, which will result in a project biodiversity net gain of 12%.

The Student Village also includes a net-zero carbon in operation ‘hub’, which will provide individual and group study areas, flexible use space, and an outdoor seating area on the rooftop terrace. A new pedestrian bridge and boardwalk will link the new accommodation and ‘hub’ with the university’s wider Leek Road site.

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Professor Martin Jones, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said:

“Providing an excellent student experience is a strategic priority and the Student Village is designed to respond to what students say they want. With the full backing of our Board of Governors, we are delighted to move closer towards making a start on this project which, alongside our academic course offering and exceptional support services, will help to make us stand out in the market.”

Ian Prescott, Managing Director of HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions UK and Ireland, said:

“We are delighted to have been selected for this prestigious project and look forward to working with the University and consortium partners to realise the vision for the new student village.”