The contracts for the building of two planned new student housing developments in Cardiff and Exeter have been awarded to the building firm Opco. The contracts, both of which are for the Exeter-based company Prime Student Housing and which are set to run in tandem, are worth a combined total of £7.5 million. When completed, the two projects will provide accommodation for a total of 182 students based in the two cities, with the Exeter development set to house 103, while the one in Cardiff accommodates 79.
Despite the fact that the contracts for the two developments are set to run concurrently, they have different timescales for completion; with Opco indicating that the work in Exeter – worth £4 million – will be completed by the summer of 2013, whereas the £3.5 million development in Cardiff is expected to be ready by the close of the year.
Both projects involve the demolition of existing buildings before work on the new housing can begin, but the development at Cardiff’s Summit House, will also see one of the current buildings refurbished for use both as student housing and for other associated services. It has also been confirmed that the Exeter development, which will be located in Sidwell Street, will incorporate a retail unit built into the accommodation block, on the ground floor.
Bruce MacDonald, the regional director for Opco has stated that the development of student housing could prove to be a particularly fruitful area for the company, as it looks for ways to expand in the future.