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Tyrone-based McAleer and Rushe secures £42m student accommodation contract

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An artist's impression of St Crispin's House.

An artist's impression of St Crispin's House.

An artist's impression of St Crispin's House.

NI construction firm McAleer and Rushe has won a £42m student accommodation contract in Norwich.

The company was awarded the deal by Global Student Accommodation (GSA), to regenerate and transform the 1970s office building, St Crispin’s House, into a 684-bed student residence in the heart of Norwich city centre.

Designed by Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson, the development will be fully refurbished and extended, stripping out the shell and core, and constructing additional floors to create a seven-storey building. A five-storey extension to the rear of the building is also included within the development.

Once finished, St Crispin’s House will provide a mix of accommodation, including studios and cluster flats.

The property will also provide 9,500 square ft of internal communal space, covering common rooms, a gym, multi-purpose event room, study spaces and laundry, as well as an external courtyard, cycle spaces and EV charging points.

The development is expected to be delivered by summer 2023 and will be operated by Yugo, GSA’s global operating partner.

The contract award represents the fifth partnership between McAleer & Rushe and GSA.

Mark Elliott, contracts director at McAleer & Rushe, said: “We are delighted to be appointed to transform this significant site in Norwich city centre and to work closely with Global Student Accommodation, once again.

“In delivering a facility tailored to the evolving needs and expectations of the city’s students, we will also be sensitively restoring and conserving a derelict building in a sustainable way for future generations. By retaining the existing building structure with a large section of the roof level designed as a green roof, this major new development will be a visually impressive and an exciting new addition to the city’s vibrant community mix.”

James Childs, UK construction director at Global Student Accommodation, said: “St Crispin’s is an exciting development in the vibrant university city of Norwich, and we are delighted to be working once again with McAleer & Rushe to create an outstanding living experience for our students.”

He added: “The property is well situated to serve students from the University of East Anglia, one of the UK’s top 25 ranked universities, and Norwich University of the Arts. The property is set to benefit from strong demand for student accommodation from the two universities’ 17,000 students, with 63% of their full-time students currently unable to access university or purpose-built student accommodation in Norwich.”

In 2020, Tyrone-based McAleer & Rushe won two significant contracts to build premium Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) schemes in Loughborough and Nottingham. PBSA specialist Future Generation said the deal takes the total construction contract value between the two firms to £100m.

And in December 2021, the company completed a major project in central London, a £208million complex including a dual hotel which forms a crucial part of the Paddington Basin Masterplan, a major initiative to regenerate that area of central London.


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