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UU to run new sports centre inside the largest student accommodation scheme built to date in Belfast

Published on 2 May 2024

A new sports centre operated Ulster University will feature in one of the largest student accommodation schemes ever built in the north.

A new sports centre operated Ulster University will feature in one of the largest student accommodation schemes ever built in the north.

The the 774-unit ‘Nelson Place’ development, overlooking the York Street Interchange, is due to open in Belfast this September.

Hillsborough contractor Graham has been on site at the 12-storey block since 2022.

The £48 million new build development is the biggest student residential scheme to date to be built within the vicinity of Ulster University’s new York Street campus.

Nelson Place will become Student Roost’s fifth and largest scheme in Belfast.

Student Roost has also confirmed that Ulster University will operate a new sports centre based at the new Nelson Street site.

Billed as the first of its kind to be housed in a UK-based private student accommodation, the facilities include a four court hall, gym, wellness rooms, spin studio and an 80 metre rooftop running track.

The accommodation provider said the ground floor sports area will be available to both residents, as well as Ulster University staff and students.

The Nelson Place development will also feature a cinema room, games area, hosting kitchen, communal lounges and study rooms open to residents 24/7.

Student Roost said the accommodation will be a mix of en-suite rooms and studio flats.

Olympian originally proposed a student scheme in 2016 after acquiring the Nelson Street site from Barry Gilligan’s Artemis Developments.

Another planning application was submitted in 2021 for 774 student units by PBSA Nelson Street Sarl, a Luxembourg-based entity owned by Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management.

But the asset changed hands in 2023 when Student Roost was acquired by a joint venture between Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and US property management group Greystar.

Commenting on Ulster University’s involvement in the Nelson Place scheme, head of sports services, Dr Nigel Dobson, said: “With the addition of this new facility, we will have a really rich sports offering at Ulster University with green field and training facilities at Ulster University Sports Village, Jordanstown and sports centres in Coleraine and Derry.

“There are facilities to support every student, individual member, sports club and professional athlete to reach their sporting goals, whether that be an Olympic gold medal, a new personal best or enhanced fitness or relaxation.”

Student Roost’s most recent Belfast property on Little Patrick Street, opened in 2020.

It also operates accommodation schemes for students at John Bell House, Swanston House and Great Patrick Street.

The company’s regional operations manager, Anna Killough, said: “As Belfast’s largest student accommodation building, the scale of Nelson Place has provided the opportunity to deliver something really special that truly places students’ mental and physical wellbeing at the heart of the university experience.”

Source: Irish News (link opens in new window)