GMI & Alumno ‘top out’ £24 million student accommodation scheme in Birmingham


Libby Whitaker-Keating

GMI Construction Group has topped out a new £24 million student accommodation scheme in Birmingham being built on behalf of student residence specialists Alumno and funder Woh Hup

The project, Pershore Junction, in Dogpool Lane is regenerating a former brownfield site used by BT creating much needed accommodation for students attending the city’s universities and dental hospital.

It is planned to be completed for the 2024 academic year student intake.

This is the latest student accommodation scheme GMI Construction is delivering in partnership with Alumno and follows the recent completion of The Terry Frost Building, a 411-bed development in Leeds.

Pershore Junction will comprise of a mix of cluster beds and single occupancy studio rooms for 167 residents, along with a reception and communal areas, which will help enhance the local Selly Park community.

As part of the scheme, the development will include an improved retail space for the site’s original Post Office and newsagent, which has been relocated close by during construction.

The local community will also benefit from an enhanced public area in front of the building, which will include landscaping, seating and cycle stands.  Notably, this space will feature a poetry garden, which will be created through an initiative led by Birmingham Poet Laureate Casey Bailey, in partnership with Writing West Midlands.

Bailey will also run writing workshops with pupils from nearby Selly Park Girls’ School, who will contribute to the poetry garden, along with augmented reality projects designed to engage young people in the local community.

Designed by Birmingham-based architects Howells, the new building will comprise of brickwork and terracotta detailing, which references local materials, while also providing a new identity for the development.

Gareth Jones, GMI Construction’s Divisional Managing Director in the Midlands, said: “We are proud to have hit this major milestone on this development, which will help to meet the growing demand for student accommodation in Birmingham.  It also strengthens GMI’s credentials in the construction of multi-occupancy developments, particularly in the student accommodation sector, which is reflected by our continuing close relationship with Alumno.”

David Campbell, Alumno Managing Director, said: “It’s great to be celebrating the topping out of another exciting project. Our development will improve the local area visually, provide an economic boost to local businesses, and deliver much needed accommodation for Birmingham’s growing student population. As with all our developments, we have worked closely with the surrounding community and local authority to ensure the scheme enhances this vibrant area.”

Dav Bansal, Partner at Howells, said: “The elegantly crafted red brick and terracotta design of Dogpool Lane responds to several key local landmarks, including the red brick Selly Park Church and Dogpool Lane Hotel.

“The project also reinstates a piece of under-utilised green space as a matured setting for the building for both students and the local community to enjoy. It will provide a much needed and sustainable home to embed students in the wider community, but also a catalyst for regenerating this local neighbourhood.”

Phil Johnson, Head of UK investments for Woh Hup said “We are delighted with the partnership with Alumno, GMI and the wider project team. We appreciate all the hard work undertaken to date by the team and are looking forward to opening the scheme for academic year 2024.”