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Darley Bank
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University of Derby Student Accommodation

Framework: SCAPE Construction

Project value: £1.9m

Client satisfaction: 10/10

SME spend: 94%

Local spend within 20 miles: 88.3%

Local labour within 20 miles: 67.6%

Social value generation: £1m

Waste diverted from landfill: 100%

RIDDOR accidents: Zero

We have been impressed with the way that Morgan Sindall delivered this project on time and on budget, despite the tight schedule. It’s also good to see the social value of this project supporting our local businesses, social enterprises, and disadvantaged communities."

Ross Hughes

Interim Senior Project Manager | University of Derby

Students at the University of Derby can now enjoy improved accommodation facilities at Darley Bank and Peak Court following its refurbishment by Morgan Sindall Construction, with interior design services from Lungfish Architects.

Faced with a tight eight-week programme to deliver the works, the project completed on time, on budget and with a client satisfaction score of 10/10. Procured through SCAPE Construction, with SCAPE's in-house architectural practice Lungfish Architects, the site team also worked closely with the university to deliver a social and economic boost to the local community equating to 52.6% of the project value.


Being located close to Derby city centre, Darley Bank and Peak Court are popular student halls that consist of modern vibrant flats with four to seven people sharing a kitchen and social space. Requiring refurbishment and renovations ahead of the new academic term, the scope of work included the renovation of 117 bedrooms, 22 kitchens and all associated communal areas over an eight-week period. It also involved improving the fire prevention, water heating and M&E systems throughout both buildings.

To help manage the work and keep the programme on track, the client and site teams carefully planned the subcontractors and sequence of works. This included a phased delivery approach, with a floor being handed over to the client each week. As well as providing greater time and cost certainties, this approach allowed the site team to identify and resolve any snagging in a timely manner – which ultimately resulted in the project handing over defect free. It also provided early access to inspect and prepare the rooms in time for the returning students starting the new September term.

With both accommodation buildings located less than 100 metres apart, the project was able to benefit from a shared and central site office and project team. The team also worked closely with the university’s estate team and appointed architect practice, Lungfish Architects, to ensure the work was completed to the highest standards, with the project receiving a quality score of 9/10 from the client.

Morgan Sindall has long recognised the importance of social value with its Intelligent Solutions approach seeking to create unique, sustainable, and inspiring places. Following its appointment on the SCAPE Construction Framework, the contractor pledged to achieve a minimum of 30% return on Social Value on all its SCAPE projects. The site team at Darley Bank and Peak Court exceeded this even further however by achieving an impressive 52.6% return, ensuring more than £1 million of the project spend was reinvested within the local area.

This was accomplished, in part, by ensuring the workforce and subcontractors used on site were from the surrounding area. In total, 67.8% of the labour was based within 20 miles of the project, while 88.3% of the project value was spent with small to medium businesses in the local area. Four Social Enterprises – whose primary purposes are to try to readdress social or environmental imbalances within the construction industry – were also appointed on the project.

Looking to go beyond the build, the project team also collected items for a food bank and hosted a Harvest Breakfast Community Engagement Event in partnership with the local church and the University of Derby. The event invited anyone in the local area who was in need and provided them with a hot meal/drink as well as suitable clothing and sleeping bags for the colder months.

SCAPE is an approved route to market that enables us to access Tier 1 contractors. The mechanisms of the framework enabled us to utilise the expertise of Morgan Sindall on this project from inception through to completion. From the initial design and planning of the work, to budgeting, right the way through to the completion of the works, the collaborative nature of all parties working together was the key to meeting both the budget and the constrained timeframes.

Ross Hughes

Interim Senior Project Manager | University of Derby

It's great that we were able to make a such positive impact on the community with this eight-week project - a relatively short space of time in the world of construction. Collaboration with the client and our subcontractors was the key to success here and I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the hard work and planning which went into this development, and we will use this example to help shape future social value initiatives."

Richard Fielding

Area Director | Morgan Sindall Construction

We worked closely with the University of Derby and Morgan Sindall to establish a clear brief and scope of works which centred on enhancing the accommodation facilities for the benefit of its students. Utilising Morgan Sindall’s supply chain, we achieved a safe, bright and vibrant design, bringing the interior up to modern standards, which creates an ideal home from home for its residents."

Craig Taylor

Director | Lungfish Architects

We are delighted to have supported our partner, Morgan Sindall, the delivery of this project in just eight weeks. This scheme is a prime example of how effective collaboration between partners and the supply chain is critical to ensuring the complex and multi-layered requirements of our clients are met successfully, to budget and on time.

Mark Robinson

Group Chief Executive | SCAPE


SME spend


waste diversion from landfill


local labour within 20miles

In collaboration with:

University of Derby
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