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City centre site transformed into new student accommodation

Prof Hugh Brady (right), Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, officially opens the study space at Orchard Heights

Inside the new study and social space at Orchard Heights

Students relax in the new social space

Press release issued: 25 September 2015

A brand new property for students has been opened on historic Trenchard Street, in the heart of Bristol, thanks to a partnership between the University of Bristol and Bristol-based accommodation provider Unite Students.

Orchard Heights is a 484-bed property above popular music venue O2 Academy Bristol, formerly the site of Bristol’s ice rink.

Given the location, ingenious engineering was needed to prevent students being disturbed by the concerts.

A 45m slab of special concrete – known as a ‘transfer desk’ - sits above the arena, carrying the 25,000 tonnes of weight to the ground and foundations.

The building is also unique thanks to its large social and study space, which is accessible to all Bristol University students living in city centre accommodation.

It was officially opened yesterday by Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol.

Pru Lawrence-Archer, Head of Accommodation Services at the University, said: "The University has worked in partnership with Unite to meet the needs of students living in the city centre for study and social space.

“We are very proud to be opening a first-class facility that incorporates a music room, kitchen, breakout rooms and over 800 square metres of social and study space."

All students have access to 25MB Wi-Fi, a fortnightly cleaning service for kitchen and living spaces, and all utility bills included in their rent. Orchard Heights is fully booked for the 2015/16 academic year.

Richard Smith, Unite Students managing director of Operations, said: “Orchard Heights is our first Unite Students property in Bristol since we opened Phoenix Court in 2007.

“Unite started in this city and with our 25th anniversary next year it’s hugely gratifying to see our latest property co-branded with the University of Bristol. I believe that reflects the trust we’ve earned in that time.”

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