Durham University’s £80m project to develop two new college facilities and wider communal facilities at Mount Oswald


Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised Durham University on its procurement of a private sector consortium to design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) two new college facilities and wider communal facilities at Mount Oswald, just to the south of Durham city. The capital value of the project is in excess of £80m.

The university plans to relocate John Snow College to one of the new buildings, and also to launch a brand new college on the site, making it the 17th college within the university. Together, the two facilities will provide 1,000 student bed spaces, common rooms, communal areas and administrative space. A new multi-use games area and hub building will also be constructed, providing sports facilities as well as a large multi-purpose space for events and dining.

The university’s private sector partners for the project are Campus Living Villages (who are also the facilities management provider) and Equitix, with Interserve Construction carrying out the building works, and project finance being provided by Assured Guaranty. The university is a financial partner in the project and WBD also advised the University’s new subsidiary company, Durham Mount Oswald Limited, on the transaction.

A multi-disciplinary WBD team advised the University from the pre-procurement stages, through the competitive tender process, and through to financial close. The firm’s multi-disciplinary team was led by Iain Greenshields, Partner in Projects & Procurement, and supported by Neil Walker (Legal Director), Emma Luscombe (Associate), Ian Ward (Partner, in picture) and Peter Cantwell (Associate) who provided property support, and with specialist corporate and banking support provided by Iain Pritty (Legal Director) and Viktor Osasu (Associate).

Involved fees earner: Iain Greenshields – Womble Bond Dickinson; Neil Walker – Womble Bond Dickinson; Emma Luscombe – Womble Bond Dickinson; Viktor Osasu – Womble Bond Dickinson; Ian Ward – Womble Bond Dickinson; Peter Cantwell – Womble Bond Dickinson; Iain Pritty – Womble Bond Dickinson;

Law Firms: Womble Bond Dickinson;

Clients: Durham University;