University of Sussex appoints Balfour Beatty to develop new student housing on campus

East Slope residences

The University of Sussex has appointed Balfour Beatty Student Accommodation (BBSA) as the preferred bidder for the development and operation of new student accommodation on its campus.

The competitive tender process was designed to find a long-term partner to facilitate the redevelopment of an existing site – known as East Slope - at the University’s campus at Falmer in Brighton. 

Subject to planning permission, it is hoped the site will accommodate 2000 new bedrooms as well as a new building for the Students’ Union, which will incorporate administrative and social facilities.

The University’s Finance Director, Allan Spencer, said: “This was a highly competitive tender process, in which we received several excellent bids. 

“Balfour Beatty demonstrated a strong understanding of our desire to develop high-quality accommodation whilst maintaining the character of the natural landscape of Sussex within the setting of the South Downs National Park.

“They were able to address our critical requirements as well as having extensive experience in delivering large-scale projects of this nature.

“Following planning approval, we will be working closely with Balfour Beatty to ensure that we minimise any on-site disruption to our University community during the phased construction process.”

The redevelopment of East Slope, which currently has 600 bedrooms, has been part of the University’s housing development strategy since 2004.

Ian Woosey, Business Development Director for BBSA, said: “Balfour Beatty is delighted to have been chosen as the University’s investment partner in the proposed Residential Development Partnership to deliver the East Slope Residences project.

“The extensive dialogue we have had with the University has resulted in proposals that complement the existing campus, contribute to the University’s sustainability objectives and will provide an environment that enhances the students’ experience.

“We now look forward to working with the University to achieve planning approval and deliver this important project.”

The tender proposal requires the University’s partner to design, build, fund and operate the new residences for up to 50 years.  The University will retain the delivery of pastoral care and student administrative services.

It is anticipated the first phase of additional accommodation will be ready for the start of the 2017/18 academic year in September 2017.

Notes for editors

University of Sussex Press Office: Jacqui Bealing  Tel: 01273 678888, Email

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Investments:  Stephanie Mills, Head of Communications, Tel: 020 7121 3791, Email:


Founded in 1961, the University of Sussex is among the leading research universities in the UK, with 98 per cent of its research rated as world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised (REF 2014). The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014 rank Sussex as 14th in the UK, 43rd in Europe and 111th in the world.

The University of Sussex has more than 13,000 students and 2,200 staff, from more than 120 countries. The University has counted among its faculty three Nobel Prize winners, 13 Fellows of the Royal Society, six Fellows of the British Academy and a winner of the prestigious Crafoord Prize.
International in its outlook and interdisciplinary in its approach, Sussex is based on a single campus, designed by Sir Basil Spence, in rolling parkland between the seaside city of Brighton and Hove and the South Downs National Park. Sussex research tackles major world issues, with leading areas of expertise such as climate change and development studies.

Balfour Beatty is a leading international infrastructure group. With 36,000 employees, it provides innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. Balfour Beatty finance, develop, build and maintain complex infrastructure such as transportation, power and utility systems, social and commercial buildings.  Its main geographies are the UK, US, Middle East and South East Asia. Over the last 100 years the company has created iconic buildings and infrastructure all over the world including the London Olympics’ Aquatic Centre, Hong Kong’s first Zero Carbon building, the world’s biggest shopping mall in Dubai, the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the US and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Monday, 26 January 2015