Lynda Price, Chair of Western Challenge, and David Allen, Registrar and Deputy Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, at the launch of Rowancroft. Photo: Theo Moye, Apex.

Rowancroft welcomes new students

A new development of student flats has opened in Exeter, helping to ease the pressure on the city’s housing market. Rowancroft, in Heavitree, is a new £11 million residence housing 219 University of Exeter and Peninsula Medical School students near to the St Luke’s campus.

Three of Rowancroft’s new buildings have been named in recognition of the generosity of past legacy donors to the University of Exeter.

Dr Courtenay Ralegh Radford, Mr Gruffydd Davies and Mrs Marie Francis have collectively donated in excess of £1,400,000 in legacies to the University over the last 10 years.

187 students will live in 29 flats, arranged in clusters of between five and eight en-suite bedrooms with a communal kitchen area in each flat. The development also includes 32 studios, mainly let to postgraduate students. Each studio provides an open-plan living space and includes a double bed, workspace, en-suite shower and small kitchenette/diner. Rents start at £106.05 per person per week.

Mi-space, part of the Midas Group, built the Rowancroft student apartment scheme for Western Challenge Housing Association Ltd (part of Spectrum Housing Group), in partnership with the University of Exeter.

David Allen, Registrar and Deputy Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, says: “We are committed to creating more purpose-built student housing in partnership with organisations like the Spectrum Housing Group. By doing so we help to relieve pressure on the local rented housing market where students compete with local families. This development is the equivalent of freeing up 20 family-sized homes in the city.”

Lynda Price, Chairman of Western Challenge HA added: “Rowancroft complements the Group’s substantial existing portfolio of student housing in Exeter which we’ve achieved in close partnership with the University. The design of accommodation is to a truly high standard and we hope that the students will be happy living here during their time at University.”

The official opening of Rowancroft took place on Tuesday 22 September, with local councillors meeting partners in the development. A large sculpture entitled Breaking Through by Simon Ruscoe was commemorated at the opening with the unveiling of a plaque. Students moved in from Saturday 26 September.

Date: 29 September 2009

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