Progress continues on Cheng Yu Tung Building and new NHS Primary Care Centre

6 October 2021

Work is well underway to remove the scaffolding from the Cornmarket façade of Jesus College’s new Cheng Yu Tung Building, on the site of the old Northgate House site in the centre of Oxford.

The new building, which is due to be completed by the end of the year, has been named in honour of the father of one of the project’s major donors – Hong Kong entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Henry Cheng, through his London-based property company Knight Dragon.

The top four floors of the new Cheng Building can now be seen from Cornmarket Street


Currently on view from Cornmarket are the four upper storeys of the building. The top three floors are taken up with new postgraduate student accommodation, part of a total of 64 new en-suite rooms that the College is developing on the site.  The ground and first floors will be dedicated retail space and the College is currently in talks with a number of potential retail partners interested in moving in.

Work continues along Market Street on the Clipsham limestone cladding that will eventually envelope the whole building. Highly-skilled stonemasons are gradually working their way up the Market Street elevation to the Tower Room, soon to be home to a new events and exhibition space for the College. Cladding work on the fourth quad, which will unite the historic and contemporary elements of the College, is already completed. Internally, a range of tradespeople – from plasterers and plumbers to electricians and carpet-layers – are on site as the fit out progresses, overseen by Jesus College’s construction partners BAM.

This aerial photograph shows the new building is progressing well, with cladding work now underway to the Market Street elevation. (Photo credit: Stone & Wallwork Engineers)


Work has also begun on the development of the new state-of-the-art NHS Primary Care Centre in the basement of the building. The new medical centre, which will combine the surgeries of King Edward Street, 27 and 28 Beaumont Street, aims to improve primary care access and other healthcare services for 20,000 patients in the city. The investment in centrally-located services will also help to reduce health inequalities in the city’s Carfax Ward, one of the most health-deprived in England, providing much-needed healthcare capacity for the Ward’s 6500 residents.  Plans include 27 consulting and treatment rooms and a minor operations suite, plus space for mental health workers, physiotherapists, paramedics and clinical pharmacists. The new centre will open in spring 2022, with access via Market Street.

David Stevenson, Jesus College’s Property Director with responsibility for the Cheng Yu Tung Building development, says, “Despite the challenges of the past eighteen months, and subsequent pressures on workforce and suppliers that all such construction projects have faced, we are pleased that we have been able to continue work on the building throughout. Now, as we move to the latter stages of the development and the new building begins to emerge from behind the scaffolding, we are delighted that our architect’s vision is becoming a reality.”

He adds, “The Cheng Yu Tung Building will significantly enhance Cornmarket and the surrounding area, and the College is looking forward to announcing the first of its new retail tenants in due course. We are also looking forward to the completion of the new NHS centre, which will become a healthcare hub for the local community – it’s going to be an exciting year ahead.”