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26 Jun 2015

Avonline are helping reshape the City Centre

Bristol is a welcoming, diverse and compact city, with a lot to offer.

It is also very well recognised with regard to higher education.  Bristol has three universities, the University of Bristol, The University of Law and University of the West of England (UWE).

Bristol University, a member of the Russell Group, has 15,000 students, many who come from independent schools and middle-upper-class homes. Its particular strengths lie in Mathematics, Medicine, Engineering, Psychology, Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Management, Politics and Law. The University usually ranks in the top ten of British universities in newspaper league tables and was ranked 49th in the world in 2006, rising to 37th in the world in 2008 and again to 30th in 2013.

The post-1992 UWE, previously known as Bristol Polytechnic, has around 35,000 students and 3,000 academic staff; UWE is the larger of the two universities in the city. 86% of students at UWE are from state schools.

The University of Law has a campus in the city. It is the largest provider of vocational legal training in Europe.

With these sorts of numbers it seems a great opportunity for student accommodation agencies and Bristol consists of IQ student accommodation, dig student, Study lets, Bristol digs, the student housing company, student castle and Unite.

Unite have gone a step further and they purposely build/ have built student accommodation.

“Bristol is where it all began  and when you come to live in our Bristol student accommodation you’ll soon see why.  Dubbed the capital of the South West, the city is a nationally renowned centre of industry and entertainment, making it an ideal place for the thriving student community to have fun while achieving their goals.  From setting up our first property here 23 years ago, we now have over 120 properties providing homes for our students throughout the country.”

Unite have joined with Watkin Jones on a couple of projects in the centre of Bristol.  An area that has been in past has been described as one of the worst planning disasters in the city containing a number of eyesores from the 1960s and 1970s. :


Bridewell 300Court Rooms 300

(New Bridewell & Former Court Rooms Pictured Above)

The Courtrooms is a project that Avonline commenced the floor finishes contract in January 2015. This project includes the demolition of the existing building and the construction of a new mixed-use development to provide 348 bed student residential accommodation, including a mixture of cluster and studio bedrooms.

In addition, the development will provide approximately 300sqm  of ground floor accommodation designed to supply a variety of uses.

Student 2Student 3

Although the flooring specification is fairly straight forward using vinyl in bedrooms and carpet tiles in corridors which are replicated throughout the 9 floors in the building.  This project comes with a few challenges, the main one being that it is very restricted on space as it is in the city centre and no real storage space for any contractors.  From the start Avonline has used its depot in Ashton Vale to receive materials, cut to size then ship to site. We do however have a huge reliance on a site hoist so the logistics involved in juggling deliveries and making sure they are on time to correspond with the allocated hoist time can be interesting but Watkin Jones have been most helpful in this respect.

The building consists of a number of clusters per floor.  These clusters consist of a number of bedrooms/ kitchens and communal areas.  As you can imagine there are various trades all on site at the same time which can make the building itself seem very tight for space but all sub-contractors have worked really hard to make this work.

The project is due to be handed over in July and everyone is very confident that this will happen.