£100m student accommodation scheme completes

True Student Building

Liverpool construction firm Vermont has completed works on its £100m student development.

Situated in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter it is the largest student scheme to have successfully completed in the city this year.

The 999-unit scheme – formerly known as Aura, now referred to as the ‘True Student’ building – has a range of high quality amenity space, including a café, state of the art gym, a sky lounge with panoramic city views and a cinema room.

The luxury scheme was initially bought out of administration following a deal on behalf of the 450 investors in 50 countries who originally backed the scheme.

Works at the Aura scheme were paused in January 2020, following legal issues experienced by the original developer, Elliot Group, with the scheme collapsing into administration in March 2020.

Vermont reached an agreement with a consortium of investors in March 2020 – Aura Investors LLP – which purchased the site from the administrator, David Rubin & Partners in October 2020.

The investors, assisted by Blacklight Capital and its professional team, were able to secure all necessary funding to ensure completion of the development as originally planned.

The first phase of the project, comprising 563 student units, was handed over in September last year, with the final 436 units successfully handed over this month, ready for this September’s student intake.

Mark Connor, chief executive of Vermont, said: “The completion of this scheme is an absolute credit to all involved, including the fantastic Vermont project team, our supply chain and design team partners, together with the investors and their professional team.

“Despite the obvious challenges Vermont committed to finishing the project with the investors, and it is a testament to the determination and pragmatism of all of the various stakeholders that we have been able to ensure the scheme could be completed as originally envisaged.”

He added: “This is without doubt the biggest challenge we’ve faced since we established Vermont back in 2004, both in terms of the project’s scale and complexity. This, combined with a complete redesign of the ground floor following recommencement, was always going to be a massive test for the team, but one we were confident we could deliver – and we did.

“It’s a great result for the investors and, indeed, the city – as a Liverpool business it’s a scheme we are very proud to have worked on and we hope will provide an exemplar of student accommodation for future students.”

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