New heights for University accommodation

The newest addition to Selly Oak’s residential development was officially ‘topped out’ at a ceremony last week (Wednesday 15 February).


The University of Birmingham’s new Bournbrook residence, which comprises 178 new student bedrooms over three blocks (of five, six and seven floors), has reached its highest point of construction, ahead of opening its doors to students this autumn.

University representatives and project partners were among guests who travelled to the roof of the building to see Director of Hospitality and Accommodation Services, Stuart Richards, Director of Residential and Environmental Services, Lesley Stewart, and Guild of Students representative, Izzie Nicholds, lay the final area of concrete at the top.

The building is a brand new, purpose-built facility for student accommodation and sports recreation: It comprises 34 flats housing between four and seven people each, including 11 wheelchair accessible rooms, as well as boasting a new pavilion for student sports clubs, and a café and dedicated accommodation drop-in office, open to the local community.

The new build will provide modern contemporary student accommodation with a bright design and communal spaces at the corners of the buildings to allow residents to benefit from views towards campus over the University sports pitches and surrounding Selly Oak and Edgbaston.

The Bournbrook development is part of the University’s ongoing commitment to invest in high-quality accommodation in a vibrant community. Just two years ago we celebrated the completion of the new Chamberlain residences which has transformed student living at the Vale village.

Lesley Stewart, Director of Residential and Environmental Services at the University said: “Here in Bournbrook, Selly Oak, students benefit from close access to both the University campus, just a few steps away, and the desirable location of Selly Oak with its shops, bars and vibrant community spirit. We recognise that this area is increasingly attracting student residents and this important development will support the demand for University accommodation among our first-years as we continue to invest in high quality student accommodation provision to meet the diverse needs of all our students.

“I am particularly excited with the new private sector accommodation and community drop in service which will be based on the ground floor of the Pavilion and which I hope will be used by students and Selly Oak community residents who strive to make Selly Oak a great place to live.”

Mark Nicholson, Regional Managing Director, Carillion, said: “We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone in construction. I believe the completion of the new Building in September will provide the University with modern, contemporary living for its Student population with state of the art facilities all within the campus environment.”

Also at the ceremony was student, Izzie Nicholds, Officer for Housing and Communities at the Guild of Students. She said: “This new build will provide an enviable new home to first-year students at the University. Accommodation is such a huge part of the student experience and it’s great to see the University answering our increasing demands and investing in the Selly Oak area, a vibrant student destination.”

For further information please contact Samantha Williams, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager – Estates, University of Birmingham, +44 (0)7812 671797