National Star College at Cheltenham reveals contractor for £6M project

National Star Development

National Star, the charity which provides specialist further education, personal development and residential services for young people with complex disabilities and learning difficulties, has appointed regional contractor Speller Metcalfe for a major new £6 million development at its Ullenwood campus in Cheltenham.

The new state-of-the-art residence to be built at Ullenwood will provide specially adapted accommodation for young people with disabilities that fully meets their complex needs and provides stimulating spaces to live, learn and relax.

Each of the 13 bedrooms will have specialist overhead tracking hoists and ensuite facilities ensuring that privacy and dignity is maintained for those with high levels of personal care needs. There will be wide corridors that can easily accommodate large electric wheelchairs ensuring everyone can easily move around their home.

There will also be sensory/break-out spaces to support those with autism, sensory processing disorders and behavioural challenges as well as large communal areas which will be used for life skills sessions.

The new building has been designed by coombes:everitt architects of Cheltenham. The three organisations have worked together on several projects, the most recent, the award-winning Bradbury Gardens in Pittville, Cheltenham, which offers college accommodation to 25 National Star students.

Opening in 2015, it went on to win the ‘Most Inclusive Building’ at the West of England LABC Awards and a prestigious Cheltenham Civic Award. It is home to eight long-term residents and to 17 residential students.

David Ellis, Chief Executive at National Star, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Speller Metcalfe for this important development which will enable the charity to ensure it can continue to grow and thrive for years to come.

“They understand the needs of the young people we support and truly grasp the ethos and vision of the charity. That makes all the difference to a project like this.”

The new residence will replace a current residence in Gloucester. “The needs of the young people coming to National Star is changing and we need accommodation which can best meet their needs and are closer to the facilities we have at Ullenwood,” said Mr Ellis.

Andy Metcalfe, director at Speller Metcalfe, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be back working with the charity, having a partnership that dates back many years following the delivery of a number of previous schemes.

“We will be bringing many of the same team to this project who understand the complex and sensitive needs of the college and its students, and will be able to channel this experience into delivering a safe, supportive and meaningful project to National Star.”

The project was procured through the Gloucestershire County Council Contractor Framework.