The key to growth for UHI

The UHI is made up of further and higher education establishments across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. A key to their growth is to encourage young people to come to live and learn in the area, and to stay in the community. Part of this strategy is the delivery of student accommodation across the whole region.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is developing the 215-acre Inverness Campus site as a nationally and internationally significant location for business, research and education, with a culture of collaboration, particularly in life sciences.

Student accommodation specialist Cityheart is the developer and operator of the University’s new residences.

Accommodation throughout the Highlands and Islands

Accommodation is split between single rooms with private or shared cooking facilities and studio rooms with shared kitchens. Rooms have en-suite facilities as well as access to wi-fi, cycle storage, laundry services and a support service.

The first phase of the project saw a £2.4m, 40-bed facility opened in Fort William, and a £6.2m, 150-bed facility in Inverness in summer 2016.

For phase 2, a second £6.3m, 150-bed accommodation block was completed in Inverness and a £2.4m 40-bed facility in Elgin, both of which opened in summer 2017.

A third phase of development is planned for other locations.

Offsite manufacture beats poor weather

The client’s brief was to use as much offsite manufacture as possible. Robertson Timber Engineering supplied fully insulated wall panels with prefabricated roof and floor cassettes.

This helped reduce construction time without compromising on design, quality or cost. The floors were delivered weather-protected, and this allowed each floor to become watertight as the kit was erected, providing early access to follow-on trades.

In Inverness, on phase 2, the build took place during the winter months, and our offsite manufacturing approach helped to reduce the risk of delay from bad weather.

Accommodation options in the city

Students in Inverness, Elgin and Fort William now enjoy a wider choice of accommodation, making the Highlands and Islands a more attractive region for students.

Lizzie Munro, a fourth-year BA (Hons) Scottish history student in Inverness, is a senior resident at the new accommodation.

“I think the new residences are fantastic and a great opportunity for more students from outside of Inverness to come and study at the University of the Highlands and Islands and Inverness College UHI. It will also give the campus a greater sense of community.”

We are delighted to see our phase 2 developments for the University of the Highlands and Islands progressing so well. Student residents will benefit from the highest quality, fit-for-purpose student accommodation available at each location. We also look forward to working further with the university on phase three of its development plans.

– Patrick Hughes, Group Development Director, Cityheart


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