Interserve was announced as preferred bidder for the Mount Oswald project in October 2017 when it was billed as a £85m scheme.
The consortium also containing fund and asset management firm Equitix and student accommodation developer and operator, Campus Living Villages UK, will design, build, finance and operate two new college facilities under a 51-year concession.
The project will mark the first new Durham University college to be founded in the city since 2006.
Interserve will be responsible for designing and building the two new college facilities – totalling 1,000-bed spaces – plus a feature new University hub building with 300-seat banquet hall, sports and music facilities.
Work will commence shortly on the University-acquired site just to the south of the city with the scheme due to be completed in 2020.
Debbie White, Interserve’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have reached financial close on this project and look forward to starting on site imminently.
“This project builds on our extensive experience in the further education sector and our strong 15-year relationship with Durham University.”