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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Students shun squalor for luxury
The Young Ones
Student squalor no more
Luxury pads are replacing the squalor of Young Ones style student digs.

Kitchens which once provided a rich source of samples for biology postgrads have now been swapped for a spa, steam room or whirlpool.

By next September, more than 1,200 students in Manchester will be enjoying luxury accommodation.

The privately-owned Wilmslow Park, which opened in September 2002 for 949 undergraduates, was a trailblazer for the new style of student accommodation.

It's a long way from the Young Ones
Richard Tweedle, Manager Wilmslow Park

A new annexe will add 300 more students to the site close to the city centre and university area.

Its manager Richard Tweedale said: "It's a long way from the Young Ones."

He added: "Students are becoming more discerning about where they live."

The flats boast en suite bedrooms for individuals as well three, four or five bedroom apartments, deluxe double rooms with double beds all sharing a communal 16m swimming pool, gym and internet cafe.

But according to Mr Tweedale there are other attractive features - security and CCTV.

"They are very secure which is an important fact for students."

Christian Geelan, a 22-year-old politics and history student at Manchester University, said: "It does feel a bit like a hotel.

Key workers

"I have friends who use the Jacuzzi after lectures. Students seem to expect a lot more from halls of residence now."

Theology student Nicola Archard, 21, who pays a weekly rent of 89 said: "My friends and I catch up in the sauna and Jacuzzi."

The development, which also caters for key workers, is one of several built around the country by Manchester-based developers Opal Property Group.

There are similar developments in Bradford, Huddersfield, Nottingham, Leicester, Liverpool and Wolverhampton with a new development due to open in Leeds in September

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