In September, just over 1,300 students embarked on a whole new accommodation experience as they moved into what we believe are truly world-leading facilities, Peel Park Quarter. Campus Living Villages (CLV) has built this £81m luxury development as part of a consortium – Salford Village Limited, with Equitix, GRAHAM and Kier Project Investment – and is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations. The accommodation extends CLV’s partnership with the University of Salford, has multiplied the number of students living on the campus five-fold and is the centrepiece for the University’s wider development plans in the area. Crucially, it offers the type of home many students expect for the investment required for their higher education.
Student accommodation needs have moved on rapidly over the last decade. The development of superior living options is now a business imperative. For universities, it’s a critical component of the student experience and ultimately satisfaction. A traditional ‘hall of residence’ doesn’t appeal to students; they prefer to study somewhere offering the best accommodation and the best overall experience.
ABOVE and BELOW: The facilities at the Peel Park Quarter
Peel Park Quarter more than surpasses this brief. We have never regarded the University’s students as ‘ordinary’ so our accommodation isn’t either. The facilities are genuinely brilliant. Two 30-seater cinemas allow students to enjoy the latest movies on-site, communal social spaces play host to pool tables and other leisure facilities, and lounges feature Sky TV and the latest games consoles to help students unwind after a hard day’s studying. Health and wellbeing are high on the agenda with a free on-site gym and nearby basketball court. Safety is also of the utmost importance with staff on-site 24 hours a day, gated security, 13 external surveillance cameras and underground parking for over 300 cars and bikes.
Academically, the accommodation doesn’t get any better: floor-to-ceiling windows in each en suite bedroom provide a simulating study environment, students have access to free 50mb Wi-Fi, professional meeting spaces are fully equipped with the latest AV facilities, and a library is right next door!
Offering students ‘a home away from home’ isn’t solely about the high standard of accommodation available – our support systems at Peel Park Quarter are also second-to-none, including CLV’s Residential Life Programme. We have introduced a comprehensive range of academic and pastoral support, which is something we provide across all four countries in which we operate. This delivers financial advice, scholarships, study groups, cooking and budgeting classes, hot chocolate study breaks, international food nights, excursions and orienteering, and even a partnership with Student Grub which delivers boxes of fresh food ingredients and recipes to our residents.
All residents are invited to take part in our ‘vplus’ initiatives, offering free or discounted access to events, trips and activities, and they can ‘go explore’ with two weeks of rent-free accommodation in any one of our 60 villages around the globe. Our CLV teams are also encouraged to travel and sample life on other campuses. Meeting colleagues, visiting new cities and sharing information benefits their personal development and allows them to experience a diverse range of cultures and groups. Students expect a nurturing and supportive on-site team which complements CLV’s family-driven mentality.
Students have every right to demand a positive experience within a supportive, safe and fun environment. They expect high-quality, well-managed accommodation, with excellent service, great facilities and the latest technology. Student needs and expectations can only grow in line with student fees so it’s important to expand rather than limit choice across the market.