A former bingo hall on the outskirts of Durham City is to be transformed into accommodation for more than 120 students.

PMI Developments and Peveril Securities has purchased the former Majestic Bingo & Social Club on Sherburn Road in a deal worth £1.85million.

Totalling 0.61 acres, Durham County Council granted detailed planning consent in May last year to demolish the building and transform it into student accommodation with 128 en-suite beds and 15 parking spaces.

Demolition work will now take place in the coming months, with PMI/Peveril starting work on the construction of the development early next year ahead of its anticipated opening just before the start of the 2025 academic year.

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Nigel Jones, director and owner of PMI Developments, said: “With the well-publicised shortage of student beds in and around Durham, we are delighted with the purchase of this site, to help provide quality accommodation for this world class university. We purchased the site within a seven-week period and look forward to commencing development.”

The Sherburn Road site is within walking distance of the city centre and Durham University, placing it at the heart of the world heritage site’s bustling student community and boasting easy access to the A1(M).

Leading property specialist, Bradley Hall says PMI has secured ‘a unique opportunity to capitalise on the ever-growing demand for student accommodation in the city.’

Director Helen Wall said: “We had a number of developers enquire about the project as soon as it hit the market, so it’s no surprise that it was snapped up and the sale was completed within just seven weeks.

“In recent years, much has been made about the shortage of high-quality, accessible student accommodation in and around the City of Durham so it is fantastic to see a respected developer like PMI helping to alleviate the shortage.”

Durham University unveiled its ambition in its Strategy 2017 – 2027 to increase its number of students to 21,500 by 2027, as well as having 35% of its student body comprising of international students.

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Coupled with the chronic lack of housing stock for students, Bradley Hall believes this increased demand for student accommodation will lead to a flurry of developments springing up in and around the city centre.

Group Director Peter Bartley added: “As the university continues to grow its ranks, it is only going to lead to increased strain on what is an already over-stretched student housing market, making it inevitable that more developments will start springing up over the next few years.

“However, as Durham is a World Heritage Site, it can be incredibly difficult to secure planning for developments in the city centre that are of the scale required to house such large numbers of students, which is why opportunities like this are so few and far between and offer such a unique proposition to investors.”