Work begins on £24m Birmingham student development
The construction phase of a new £24 million purpose-built managed student accommodation project on Dogpool Lane in Birmingham began recently, marked with a special event. Senior teams from building contractor GMI Construction Group and developer Alumno Group were present at the ceremony.
Regenerating a former BT brownfield site within the established Stirchley community, the development will accommodate the growing number of students attending local universities and the city’s dental hospital, taking pressure off private housing in the area. Funded by Woh Hup, the building will comprise a mix of cluster beds and single occupancy studio rooms for 167 residents, together with a reception and communal areas.
The scheme will also provide an improved retail space for the site’s original Post Office and newsagent outlet, which has been relocated close by during construction. The local community will also benefit from an enhanced public area in front of the building, which will include landscaping, seating and cycle stands.
Promoting a cleaner local environment, the development will be car free, with students prohibited from bringing vehicles to Birmingham through their tenancy agreements. Student residents will benefit from easy access to public transport, with the development close to bus, rail and cycle networks, as well as being within walking distance of local university campuses.
Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the new building will comprise brickwork and terracotta detailing, which references local materials, while also providing a new identity for the building.
“The elegantly crafted red brick/terracotta design of Dogpool Lane responds to several key local landmarks, including the red brick Selly Park Church and Dogpool Lane Hotel,” explained Dav Bansal, Partner at Glenn Howells Architects, which designed the development. “The project also reinstates a piece of under-utilised green space as a matured setting for the building for both students and the local community to enjoy. It will provide a much needed and sustainable home to embed students in the wider community, but also a catalyst for regenerating this local neighbourhood.”
Commenting on the project, Alumno Managing Director David Campbell said: “It’s great to be celebrating the start of work on another exciting project. Our development will improve the local area visually, provide an economic boost to local businesses, and deliver much needed accommodation for Birmingham’s growing student population,” “As with all our developments, we have worked closely with the surrounding community and local authority to ensure the scheme enhances this vibrant area.”
Delighted to be collaborating with Alumno again, Gareth Jones, GMI’s Joint Divisional Managing Director, said: “This is the third project we have undertaken in collaboration with Alumno, having last year completed the Church Inn development in Manchester, as well as working alongside them on the Whitelock Street scheme in Leeds. “We’re proud to add another project to our growing portfolio in conjunction with Alumno, and it is a development which underlines our versatility in constructing a wide range of builds.”
Alumno and GMI plan to have the new building completed in time for the 2024 student intake.