Students Staff

30 October 2012

University of Essex student accommodation begins to take shape

Colchester Campus

The University of Essex’s new student accommodation scheme has been officially launched with a groundbreaking ceremony on site.

The new student complex, known as The Meadows and situated off Boundary Road, will provide an additional 648 student bedrooms for the Colchester Campus from next autumn and is made up of 19 town houses for 228 students plus en suite cluster flats for a further 420 students. There will also be a social pavilion housing a common room, a launderette and a ‘grab and go’ shop.

Uliving at Essex, a consortium made up of Bouygues Development, housing provider Derwent Living and investment company Equitix, is responsible for the overall investment which includes a £23 million design and build contract for Bouygues UK. The scheme is part of the University’s commitment to providing high quality on-campus accommodation. As part of this investment Uliving will also manage the accommodation at University Quays for a 50 year period.

The commemorative groundbreaking ceremony was marked with the laying of the ‘first bricks’ by senior representatives from the University, Uliving, Derwent Living and Bouygues UK.

The Meadows ground breaking

Representatives from Derwent Living, Bouygues UK, the University and Uliving laying the first bricks of The Meadows

University Registrar Bryn Morris said: “The University has a really well established track record of partnerships which enable us to achieve things we could not otherwise do on our own. We have got a fantastic project coming out of the ground here.”

Arnaud Bekaert, Deputy Managing Director of Bouygues UK, said: “This project has a very challenging timescale, with less than a year from now to hand the accommodation over to the University. The key to achieving this is the successful collaboration of the different partners and with the commitment and expertise of everyone involved, we are confident of delivering this interesting and complex scheme in the agreed timeframe.”

Nicolas Guerin, Managing Director of Uliving said: “This is a very important project for Uliving as it is the first of its kind in the UK. This new scheme will significantly enhance the University experience for students by providing exceptional modern living spaces in a well designed complex, with first rate facilities and service levels. We hope it will trigger future opportunities for Uliving in this exciting and expanding sector.”


Notes to Editors

High resolution photos can be provided by the University of Essex Communications Office, please contact: 01206 874471 or e-mail:

University of Essex

Founded nearly 50 years ago, the University of Essex is ranked in the top ten universities in the UK for the quality of its research and in the top 20 mainstream English universities for student satisfaction. Essex is a research-intensive university with a commitment to research-led teaching. It is the most internationally diverse campus-based university in Britain, with more than one third of its 11,000 students coming from outside the UK. The University has three campuses in Essex, and partnerships with a number of other education institutions across the region.

About Bouygues UK

Bouygues UK is wholly owned by Bouygues Bâtiment International, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction. A global player in the building, civil works, energy and services sectors, Bouygues Construction operates at all points of the value chain of projects: finance, design, construction and facilities management (operation and maintenance). On every continent, its 52,000 employees devise and develop solutions that make an improvement to the environment and to everybody’s lives. In 2011, Bouygues Construction generated sales of 9.8 billion euros.

Further information on Bouygues Development can be found at:

Further information on Bouygues UK can be found at:


Uliving is a joint venture between Bouygues Development and Derwent Living which develops on-campus student accommodation through design, build, finance and operate contracts with British Universities. Uliving’s partners are already managing a portfolio of 10,000 units and are focused on enhancing the student experience and generating value for the Universities they work with.

Uliving has recently been selected as preferred development partner by the University of Hertfordshire for their 3,000-bed student accommodation scheme, comprising 2,511 new build units and the transfer of 502 existing residences.

Derwent Living

Derwent Living is a not-for-profit organisation providing affordable living to suit a wide range of lifestyles. Formed in 1964, Derwent Living manages more than 15,000 properties in the Midlands, South Yorkshire and South East. Its broad portfolio includes:

• Homes to rent for people on lower incomes
• Large scale student accommodation
• Homes to rent, or part-buy part-rent for professionals & NHS staff
• Homes to rent and buy for the over 55s

Specialist housing including an award winning domestic violence service.

Further information on Derwent Living can be found at:

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