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Photograph of Rushford Court

Planning permission has been granted to improve and develop Rushford Court in Durham, providing a temporary home for Durham University’s College of St Hild and St Bede during renovations at their site, and with the intention to ultimately establish it as the University’s 18th college.

The historic building will be upgraded to provide student and staff facilities including College staff offices, welfare and study spaces. There is also a proposal for a new College Heart building which will also house common rooms, study areas and a café bar in addition to the facilities already on offer at the property.

Plans to develop the restored Victorian former hospital, in North Road, which has 348 bedrooms and currently boasts an on-site gym, cinema room, and games area, were approved by Durham County Council on Thursday 30th March.

Work, in partnership with Unite Students who own the building, to upgrade the property will begin this summer. Residents will remain at the property and students from across the University will be able to use its facilities to study and socialise.

The new two-storey Heart building will be built adjacent the current buildings and external alterations – including reinstating the historic entrance and new landscaping – will be carried out in 2024. Additional landscaping and usable spaces will also be added to the hub’s roof.  

Rushford Court will in the first instance be the temporary home of the College of St Hild and St Bede during refurbishments of the current Leazes Road site. 

Rushford Court first opened as County Hospital in 1853, closing in 2010. Unite Students opened it as student accommodation in 2018. It was previously used as the temporary home for the University’s John Snow College during the 2019-2020 academic year, while the University’s South College building was completed.

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