On a misty February morning, the first turf was cut for the new Polden accommodation, marking the start of construction.

President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell and Martyn Whalley, Director of Estates, joined contractors to mark the moment.

The £34.5m Polden development, on the west of campus by Polden Court, will offer 293 en-suite bedrooms in 37 flats arranged around a landscaped courtyard. Each flat will have a kitchen diner and shared social space.

For the first time on campus the accommodation will also offer dedicated communal learning spaces including boardroom-style meeting rooms with the latest AV facilities. Residents will also have easy access to the postgraduate learning commons in 10 West.

Jane Loveys, Director of Accommodation & Hospitality Services, said: “The recent experience of building accommodation on campus gave us the opportunity to design rooms with the specific needs of postgraduate students in mind.

"As they will be living in the building all year, the rooms offer increased storage with good-sized study space and equipment.”

Dame Glynis said: “Today marks the beginning of what will be a major addition to our University.

“In offering our future postgraduate students the highest quality accommodation, Polden will help us to grow our doctoral student population - an essential element of our new strategy.”

Read more about our Strategy.

The site and construction will mean a number of access changes to the Claverton Campus from the Quarry Road entrance.