NEW FOR 2014: The Studios U Student Village


The Studios U Student stands on the former site of the Tyne Tees Television Studios

Nestled behind Quay Point, in a prominent position overlooking the Tyne’s bridges is The Studios U Student Village. Emma Luke took an exclusive look at the new development on the site of the former Tyne-Tees Television Studios.

U-Student’s foray into the Newcastle student housing market sits in the newly trendy Ouseburn, affording amazing river views from a great deal of its 386 rooms. The development is just a stone’s throw from the vibrant nightlife of the Quayside and well linked to university campuses by metro and bus routes, with the newer part of Northumbria University’s campus within walking distance.

The development is divided into three blocks, with a mixture of room types in every flat. There really is something for everyone with a range of rooms from a standard cluster flat room to a premium, studio or apartment.

Mike Norris, Operations Manager gave me a tour of the new development, and he explained how the flat layouts were designed to make the flats more inclusive, he said “having studios mixed in with standard rooms means that those who want their privacy can have it, but this gives everyone a chance to socialise and make friends.”

ustudent1414The quality of the rooms on offer is certainly impressive with 20MB broadband as standard. Every room is en-suite and comes with a wardrobe, drawers, desk and chair. The beds are all three quarter or double beds depending on the room type. And premium rooms, studios and apartments all come with a digital tv with in built free view and free internet tv service. Larger rooms have a sofa to give a real home from home feel. The en-suites feature large luxurious showers, hand basins, toilets and a mirror and towel rail.

The communal kitchen living areas have everything that a student could need. There’s a spacious kitchen which comes with all crockery, cutlery, pots and pans. There are large fridge freezers and additional under-counter freezers, and a breakfast bar with bar chairs for a friendly dining experience or even the odd drinking game! There is also a dining table and chairs, sofas and a digital television.

When we’d finished admiring the spectacular views from the huge windows in the living room we took a peek at an apartment room. With a separate bedroom and a spacious living area this would make a great home for a couple.

Studios and apartments also have kitchenettes with a small fridge freezer, a combination microwave and grill, a hob, sink and cupboard space.

Contents insurance with Endsleigh is provided free of charge and each flat has an iron, ironing board, mop, broom and vacuum cleaner to help tenants keep on top of the housework! There is a communal laundrette and a common room with sofas, pool tables and games machines.

Security is paramount on the site with key carded entry and a dedicated security office and CCTV to keep tenants and their possessions safe. Work on the site is almost finished and some rooms are still available. To book visit the U-Student website. A standard room starts at £112 a week, premium rooms from £127, studios from £145 and apartments from £157 a week.

Newcastle landlords must remove to let boards by 2015 or face a fine.

News came last week that Newcastle City Council have won the right to ban to-let boards in high density student areas.

The advertising boards will be banned from streets in Jesmond, Sandyford, Heaton, Shieldfield, Spital Tongues and Gosforth, and the Council have given landlords and letting agents until January 2015 to remove all their boards. Those found violating the ban could face a fine of up to £2,500.

To obtain the ban the Council had to apply to the Government for a change in Regulation 7 of the Town and Country Planning act, which governs advertising in public areas. The move makes Newcastle the first major city to enforce such a ban after introducing volunatry codes and accrediatation schemes that failed to manage the problem.

Not all letting agents are pessimistic about the move saying that the streets have become too cluttered and that rogue landlords don’t manage their boards at all and simply leave them up all year round. Other landlords felt that the move was an unfair attack on their business, with one saying he’d only just invested last year in some to-let boards and was hoping that usinhg them would increase his profile with student tenants.

Bruce Haagenson, National Landlords Assocation representative for Newcaste, considers the move heavy handed and described it as ‘using a sledgehammer to crack a nut’. He explained that he thought the directive unfairly targets student areas.

“I can understand that for residents the multitude of boards can be an issue,” he said. “But if you are banning lettings boards, why not ‘For Sale’ boards too? With the property market as it currently is, sales boards are around for quite a long time before a house is sold.

“Also, if these boards are not acceptable in Jesmond, why are they acceptable in the West End? If you are going to introduce this policy it should be right across the city.”

The ban will be enforced in Janaury, and letting agents and landlords will have to apply for consent before putting up advertisements.


Developers reveal plans for vacant Middlesborough site.

The new development will site on a vacant site in the city cenjtre and will provide accommodation for 120 students.

The new development will site on a vacant site in the city cenjtre and will provide accommodation for 120 students.

A planning application to build a five storey block of flats with 182 studewnt flats has been approved by Middlesborough Council.

The development will sit on a vacant site at the corner of Marton Road and Borough Road on top of an exisiting underground carpark. The developers; Cliff Court Development, submitted the plans to transform the lot once occupied by Marton Road School.

In 2005 a plan was submitted for 120 flats, but one councillor dubbed it a ‘monstrous carbuncle’ and the plans were not approved. A second application was approved later that year and work started on site, with ne of the two blocks planned being constructed. However, after the economic downturn took hold the flats were never completed.

The site is 0.3 miles from Teeside Univesoty campus, so will make an exccelent locastion for student flats.

In a statement accompanying the plans it was noted that “the proposed development will allow for the completion of the regeneration of a previously unused brownfield site…in a prominent and sustainable location at a gateway into the town centre.”

The application was approved and work is expected to start soon.

Finding a last minute student home

Finding a great place to live can make all the difference to your student experience.

Finding a great place to live can make all the difference to your student experience.

After the rush of Clearing; making huge decisions that could affect your future for the next three years and beyond, you have your univerity place. Freshers week looms large on the horizon, but before you pack your dancing shoes you need to find somewhere to live. Unfortunately not all universities have space in their halls for all their first year students. Here’s our guide to finding great accommodation at the last minute.

1) University

Although there may not be space in your university halls, you can ask to be put on a waiting list if that is your heart’s true desire. Occassionally people drop out or move courses, campuses or even institutions. University housing offices also usually carry a list of accredited landlords and letting agents. This list will make a good starting point if you decide you can handle a shared house environment.

2) Expectations

At this time of year the reality is that there are fewer student houses available, but you will never be homeless. Almost every student city in the UK has a surplus of student housing. It stands to reason that at this time of year some of the housing stock will not be the best, but don’t forget that landlords use the quieter summer period to renovate their houses so look out for some swanker new pads coming on to the market.

3) the House Share

Ideally you’d be in halls, playing drinking  games every night and using someone else’s milk in an emergency. Given your current sitaution you might have to jump into a house share. Letting agents often have houses with gaps after groups fall out or students leave uni, don’t be afraid to ask a landlord if they have a room in an almost full house, you’ll probably get a nice house and a ready made set of friends who know the city thrown in too!

4) Private Halls

Most cities now have an abundance of privatley owned student halls, and moving in to one of these can give you the halls experience you so desperately crave. They may be more expensive than univerity owned accommodation, and most aren’t on campus. But they might have fancier facilities and be closer to the centre of town, shopping and bars and clubs. They are also a great chance to mix with students from other campuses or universities.

5) Get off your bum

So your new university is 200 miles away from mum and dad – woohoo! Sad times, you need to go there now, speak to agents, look at rooms and sign some forms. If you’re buying a room off plan in a priavte hall you might get away with it, but if you’re dealing with a letting agent you’ve never heard of and a house that’s advertised with only three photos, you need to see it in the flesh. Take a friend or your mum, a chequebook and some patience. The right house is out there.

Record number of students fill university places

Students can find a new course in clearing if they didm' achieve their expected grades.

Students can find a new course in clearing if they didm’ achieve their expected grades.

A record number of university places were awarded to students in the 24 hours after A-level results were released.

By midnight on Thursday, 401,540 applicants had been accepted for undergraduate courses, 9% up on the same time in 2012. This year fewer students than last found their university places through clearing. But some universities that don’t usually advertise in clearing have done; a spokesman for the Russell Group said that all but seven of their universities had entered clearing this year.

Government reforms this year mean universities in England can take as many students as they like with ABB grades or above.

Last year the threshold was higher, at AAB, which left some top universities with empty places, but this year universities urged students to act fast to secure a place.



Advice for University Fresher’s in London

The capital can be an exciting but expensive place to live, we have some great tips to keep the fun in budget.

The capital can be an exciting but expensive place to live, we have some great tips to keep the fun in budget.

Fresher’s week is undoubtedly one of the best weeks of university, and in fact, one of the best weeks of a person’s life full stop! If you’re lucky enough to be studying in England’s capital, fresher’s week can seem a little daunting. After all, it’s a huge city with a lot to get to grips with, but if armed with a few good tips, you can soon ensure you’re having the best week ever.
We’ve put together some tips for doing just that so it’s definitely an experience to remember for all the right reasons.

Try and work out a realistic budget

London is an expensive city to live in, that’s definitely no secret. However, approximately 372880 students do manage it, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. There’s no reason why you can’t be one of them, and the best way to survive whilst still having a ball is to work out a realistic budget to ensure you have the money to eat as well as party!

You came to study but there's time to fit in a party or two.

You came to study but there’s time to fit in a party or two.

Don’t worry about finding friends for life in the first week

You’ll no doubt make loads of friends in your student accommodation in London in your fancy Urbanest pad or other great halls, but don’t worry if you don’t feel like you’ve made any long-term bonds right away. Fresher’s friendships can be quite fickle as it’s all about finding out who best to hang out with, so don’t worry and just be yourself!

Look for cheaper things to do

Money can run out quite quick in London, regardless of how careful you are. Therefore looking for cheap or even free things to do in London will prove a lifesaver for those days when the pennies are tight but you still want to have a great day.

Start hunting out cheaper stores

Avoid hitting the main high street stores like Waterstones for your books and other supplies. Instead, look for second hand stores and do lots of shopping on discounted online stores instead as they’ll be much cheaper for all those things you need. Likewise, avoid smaller convenience stores and head to larger supermarkets to get your groceries as you’ll save heaps of money.

Making new friends at fresher's week is easy, everyone is in the same boat and looking to meet new mates.

Making new friends at fresher’s week is easy, everyone is in the same boat and looking to meet new mates.

Try anything and everything

Fresher’s week is all about trying new things and having a blast, so just let go and immerse yourself in all of the new situations. Get chatting to people in your halls or on your course and go along with their plans so that you end up trying loads of fun new things.

Head to your student’s union bar

Your university’s union should put on a fresher’s fare during fresher’s week to hand out info to all the new starters. This is great for learning more about your uni, your course and any societies you can join. It’s also useful as local businesses usually head down to them to hand out freebies and leaflets with discounts so that you can learn what’s around in your local area and save some money!

Newcastle Greyhound pub to become student studios.

The Greyhound pub will become new student rooms.

The Greyhound pub will become new student rooms.

Work has begun on converting the former Greyhound pub on Pitt Street in Newcastle.

The once notorious public house has been empty for several years. Planning permission was granted to turn the building into 14 studios for student tenants in 2013.

A previous planning application for 17 studios was turned down.

However, a re-submitted design by 3E Investments Ltd was granted permission and the developers hope to attract Newcastle University Business School students as residents.

Newcastle Lettings Agency donates a new classroom to primary school

Sandra Furno, Mark Walton, David Ager, Helen Cadzow at Christ Church Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Sandra Furno, Mark Walton, David Ager, Helen Cadzow at Christ Church Primary School in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Newcastle property agency Walton Robinson have joined forces with London based property developer Trust Estates to provide a new classroom for a local primary school.

Together they donated a four figure sum so that Christ Church Primary School in Shielffield in Newcastle upon Tyne can buy new desks, tables and chairs, a whiteboard and a colour printer/photocopier.

trust Estates and Walton Robinson are also partners on a new development neighbouring the school on Clarence Street. The new project will provide student accommodation for two hundred tenants, and is due for completion in time for the 2015 academic year.

Helen Cadzow, one of the owners of Trust Estates, said; “We have been working very closely with Northumbria University and our design team, lead by Sir Robert McAlpine and operator Walton Robson, to get an exemplar development for the area of Shieldfield which will be beneficial for the students and the local residents. At Trust Estates, we are great believers in working with our local communities to help regenerate the area and we are delighted that our team have got together with us to give Christ Church School a new classroom that will be open for this September.

“We will be working with the school to create a legacy in the area and secure a sustainable partnership for the future, ensuring the best for all children in the community.”

On Friday Helen and Mark Walton, of Walton Robinson and David Ager of Sir Robert McAlpine attended a special end of year assembly at Christ Church and presented their donation to the school in front of the students, teachers, parents and governors.

Mark said; “We are proud to be part of a team supporting the pupils at Christ Church School and we are looking forward to seeing the new classroom and facilities in use. Trust Estates and their team recognise the importance of adding to the community now and into the future. This approach will help Sir Robert McAlpine through the construction phase and Walton Robinson in its role as operator.”

Sandra Furno, Head Teacher of Christ Church School, said; “We are delighted that Trust Estates have decided to collaborate with Christ Church and have taken the time to begin building relationships with the pupils and families of our ever changing community.”

Public service workers on strike and tenancies ending leaves Newcastle student areas with a refuse problem.

Rubbish has been building up on Newcastle streets since a strike four weeks ago.

Rubbish has been building up on Newcastle streets since a strike four weeks ago.

Some student areas in Newcastle upon Tyne are now buried under rubbish after an industrial strike day coincided with a fortnightly bin collection. Areas such as Heaton have seen four weeks worth of rubbish pile up in the streets.

Last week rubbish was collected in the effected areas but refuse workers are only allowed to collect rubbish that is in black waste sacks or in the wheelie bins. After a month some bin bags have been pulled apart by animals or fallen over and split. The problem is made worse by the ever growing summer temperatures that have left the streets a haven for flies and pests as the rubbish rots. Residents had reported seeing rats in the rubbish.

Heaton is home to a large number of HMOs (Houses of Multiple Occupation) with mainly student tenants. Traditionally most student tenancies finish at the end of June, meaning that all those moving out would have left their rubbish in the bins, now four weeks on and most of it is still their for the new tenants. As well as students leaving and arriving, many landlords use the summer break to refurbish and renovate their houses, adding to the presence of rubbish on the streets.

After the first collection it was evident that rubbish remained. A spokesman for Newcastle City Council said that all the remaining rubbish would be cleared. The clean up would be done in three waves, he said; first the bin wagons, then teams going round to collect the side waste and finally the road sweepers at the end.

As well as students leaving and arriving, many landlords use the summer break to refurbish and renovate their houses, adding to the presence of rubbish on the streets.

The same areas are soon to be given larger euro style bins instead of wheelie bins to ease the problems caused by fortnightly bin collections and a large student population.

More student developments for Pitt Street

The Henry Hirst building on Pitt Street is empty. Image by Steve Ellwood

The Henry Hirst building on Pitt Street is empty. Image by Steve Ellwood

Pitt Street in Newcastle upon Tyne could see another new student development if plans are approved.

The street is close to St James’ Park football ground and very near to Newcastle University’s Business School development and St James’ Point Phase 1. (Phase 2 is currently under construction.) The latest development would occupy the site of food processing company Henry Hirst.

The flats will be spread over four and five storeys and house 65 students. The plans were submitted by Mario Minchella Architects on behalf of JSK Property Developments. If approved the Henry Hirst building and several yards would be demolished.

Three similar projects for the site have been proposed and all withdrawn or refused. A further set of plans to convert the existing building into offices was approved in 2008 but developers say it is “unclear” if they were ever implemented.

Pitt Street will also be home to a further two 12 storey student accommodation blocks on the site of the former Hill Court flats.

Henry Hirst, which has produced pork products since 1878 is currently based on a site in Benton.