12 January 2023
NMITE’s New Student Accommodation

It has always been part of the long term vision for our new university project NMITE, not only that it should boost the economy of the whole county, but that it should act to regenerate Hereford itself. After all, cathedral cities across the UK have benefitted from the infusion of energy from high education; think of York or Canterbury, or most recently Lincoln, an ancient city not so much bigger than our own. Why not here?

NMITE has grown slowly and steadily, as it seeks to create a great all round experience for its students.  First, it took over its main campus site on Blackfriars Street.  Then it partnered with Hereford College of Arts and the Council to build the Station Approach student block. Then it built its own fabulous new Advanced Timber and Manufacturing Technology buildings by the Shell Store at Skylon Park in Rotherwas.

So I was delighted to have the chance last week to visit NMITE’s new student accommodation at Eign Gate for the first time  It occupies the old Woolworths building, which was then taken over by Peacock's:  a substantial structure in an important but now sadly neglected part of town.

And reader, I was not disappointed. The building is terrific. It has 71 student flats arranged across three floors. Each of them includes a bedroom, ensuite bathroom and mini-kitchen, but they are organised in sets with shared access to state-of-the-art kitchens, dining and living areas. And there are fully equipped accessible bedrooms and wet room bathrooms on each floor as well for students with disabilities or special needs.

On the first floor, there is a large communal space for use by all student residents, which will include a home, cinema, no less. And most vital of all a large laundry facility!

All in all, It marks another stage in the development of NMITE, as well as being a vast improvement on what I remember from my own university days many years ago. Students will benefit not only from high quality accommodation of their own, but a city centre location just a few moments from High Town and a short walk from the Old Market development.

The second phase of the project will focus on the huge former Peacock’s retail space on the ground floor and basement. Once that is complete, the whole space will be a new landmark in the city, which can breathe new life into ancient stones of Hereford’s medieval centre. Bravo!