Bristol student accommodation firm signs £250m deal

Unite Students scheme

Student accommodation firm Unite has announced a £250m partnership with Newcastle University.

The Bristol firm has agreed a joint venture deal with the university which will see 2,000 new bedrooms delivered in the North East city.

The total development costs is £250m and Unite’s share will be £128m.

Unite will act as development and asset manager to the JV and will have a 51 per cent ownership share.

The partnership will deliver 2,000 beds at the University’s Castle Leazes site in Newcastle for delivery over the next four years.

The Castle Leazes site currently provides.1,250 beds and was built in 1969.

Newcastle University has committed to close the existing accommodation on the site and commence demolition in the summer of 2024.

Unite chief executive Joe Lister said: “Partnering with Newcastle University to redevelop Castle Leazes and deliver 2,000 beds of high-quality, affordable accommodation for students is a hugely exciting step for Unite Students.

“The partnership will provide further support to Newcastle University in meeting their accommodation needs at a time of real housing shortage, so that they can focus on providing a world-class experience for their students.

“Unite Students is uniquely positioned to help address the shortage of student homes through our long-standing and trusted university relationships, best-in-class operating platform and in-house development capability. There is a significant opportunity to become the partner-of-choice for universities as they seek to unlock the potential of their campuses to deliver new accommodation and access new funding.”

Nick Collins, Executive Director of Finance, Newcastle University, added: “We are delighted to partner with Unite Students to redevelop Castle Leazes. This joint venture will provide high-quality, affordable accommodation for our students and help us continue to attract students from across the UK and around the world to Newcastle University and our city.”

Entry into the joint venture is subject to planning approval. Planning submission is expected to be awarded by the end of March which would support formation of the JV before the end of 2024.