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Miller Construction delivers student facilities ‘Fit for a King’

20 Jan 12 A £5 million refurbishment of Durham Castle - home to Durham’s University College - has been completed by Miller Construction.

Works at the 11th Century Castle, which houses 339 Durham University students, commenced in July 2011 and involved the refurbishment of the bedrooms, dining areas and other facilities, whilst retaining many of the original features of the building. 

Ian Jubb, Regional Managing Director – North, Miller Construction said: “We are delighted to have completed the student residencies at Durham Castle on behalf of University College, Durham University.  This was an extremely challenging yet exciting project for the team to work on, in terms of surroundings and historical importance.  The biggest challenge we faced whilst on-site was working to preserve the original, historical features of the building.

“We worked very closely with Durham Council Conservation throughout the duration of the project which enabled us to fully understand the limitations and restrictions of working within a World Heritage Site.  We are confident that the students, who will be living in the College, will benefit from their newly refurbished facilities whilst still being able to enjoy and appreciate the original features of the Castle.”

Works on the Great Hall, which is used for student meals as well as hosting weddings and other functions, involved a full strip-out of the kitchen, servery, screens passage and buttery. The Great Hall was utilised as a venue for students, weddings, banquets and conferences from October 2011.

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The final phase of works saw the residential parts of the Castle being reconfigured and upgraded to reflect 21st Century student accommodation, with the majority of bedrooms now including en-suite.

Michelle Crawford, Bursar, University College, said: “We are delighted with the refurbishment and the Castle’s facilities have been transformed from 1* to anticipated 4* Visit England grading. The Great Hall, servery, kitchen and bedrooms look fantastic, and provide a great community setting for students to live in and a majestic venue for weddings.”

University College is the oldest of Durham’s colleges, centred around Durham Castle on the City’s World Heritage Site. It has 700 students, of which 339 live in College.

Durham University’s collegiate system provides students not just with accommodation, but with a pastoral and social community to support students’ academic studies and to enable them to develop their skills through a variety of extra-curricular events, sports, societies and outreach projects

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