I've wanted to record the progress being made on the large and imposing student blocks being built on Portland Road overlooking Battlefield a.k.a. the City Stadium; but grey skies discouraged me. Until now.
The slideshow below records my recent walk from Sandyford in a loop around the district. Apart from the sizable new addition to the skyline, please note the wonderful facade of the Biscuit Factory art emporium receiving the reflected light from neighbouring existing student accommodation on Shieldfield Lane; next, the replacement of La Gabbia restaurant by the 'Ernest' café bar (of which I have heard good reports already) and The Tower (plus vintage shop), of which I hope to learn more.
As yet no sign of work beginning on the planned several more accommodation blocks of equal size on the former paint factory site; these should have been finished by this date. These were to house the expected influx of students, Chinese leading the way, that were expected to join expanding courses at the two local universities. That particular business model has been broken by the Great Slump, Credit Crunch, or whatever you like to call it ... That and, as I have mentioned previously, news filtering through of China's (very clever) move to build it's own universities en masse* and thus attracting overseas students (including, I expect, many Brits) to China to study at considerably less expense than they would incur studying in the United Kingdom.
In more ways than one, watch this space.
* B.B.C. 2 television's 'Newsnight' (08.12) reported China is 'planning to build a hundred new universities'; one well informed old friend told me this figure is by a long way an underestimate.