Bath landmark gets student housing go-ahead

A landmark building in Bath is to be transformed into a modern £16.6m student housing complex

McLaren Property Ltd has formally opened the first show flat at a major £16.6million student housing development in Bath. 

The scheme is being delivered by Bristol-based Midas Construction and will transform the former Twerton Mill on Lower Bristol Road in Bath into a state-of-the-art student housing complex.

The project will create much-needed new student accommodation for Bath with 330 bedrooms in a mixture of studios, en-suite clusters and townhouses, which it is hoped will free up more privately rented accommodation in Bath for local families. 

Work began on site at the historic former mill in May 2014, and the new complex is due to be completed in August 2015 in time for the new academic year. 

Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “One of the issues with having two very successful Universities in Bath is that it puts pressure on our affordable family housing, particularly to Twerton, Westmorland and Oldfield. For us, the advantage of purpose built student accommodation like this is that it gives the student better accommodation and a better landlord experience, but it also takes pressure off our existing housing. A vibrant city needs a mix of everything, it needs good Universities and young people coming in to the area, but it also needs housing for our young families.” 

Alan Hope, Chief Executive at The Midas Group, said: “This former mill is on a main commuter route and an important gateway site for students from both Bath Spa University and the University of Bath, and the high standard of the development and build will offer an enviably modern accommodation option for students.

“The contemporary design of the new development also manages to pay homage to the rich industrial heritage of the site, with many traditional materials employed in the construction of the new buildings.”  

Midas Construction’s Wessex and Wales division has worked closely with developers McLaren Property Ltd, architects Stride Treglown and Bath and North East Somerset Council to ensure the plans for the development fully reflect the historic importance of the site.

Twerton Mill was originally home to a cloth manufacturing company called Wilkin’s which dominated the area in the 19th century and made military uniforms during World War I. 

The mill buildings have been derelict for many years however, and this scheme is designed to regenerate the site, with the plans carefully incorporating many ways in which the rich industrial heritage of the area can be reflected and incorporated. The old mill wall and the famous gates to the mill buildings are being retained, and the new-build elements of the project created to a contemporary design but employing traditional materials. 

The student accommodation complex will offer a number of accommodation options for students including cluster flats, studio flats, shared town houses and individual rooms, as well as facilities such as a gym, games room, laundry rooms, cycle stands and landscaped grounds. 

Developers hope the accommodation will help meet the current shortfall of student accommodation in the Bath area, with almost 10,000 rooms currently having to be privately rented in the city for the student population, taking up properties which could be used for local families.

Picture L to R: Stuart Black, Development Director for McLaren Property Ltd; Alan Hope, Chief Executive at The Midas Group and Paul Crossley, Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council.

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