Private firm extends student accommodation empire

A private company that specialises in long-term multi-million pound deals to build and run student facilities has extended its reach in the sector with a new £57.2 million contract with Nottingham Trent University.

February 19, 2012

The deal with University Partnerships Programme – which has been partly backed by a £46 million bank loan from Royal Bank of Scotland - will create new sports and social provision for the institution, including a gym, music venue, retail space and health centre.

The facility will also provide bespoke accommodation for the university’s students union in addition to 911 new rooms.

It is the latest move by UPP, which to date has invested a total of £1.4 billion into the sector in return for long-term contracts that can guarantee the company a stream of rental income lasting decades.

The Nottingham Trent deal is the fifth project UPP has undertaken with the institution, where it now operates the vast majority of the student accommodation on-campus.

As part of the new project, UPP will handle the design, build and operations of new student facilities in partnership with the university’s management.

Neil Gorman, the university’s vice-chancellor, said the development was part of “an ambitious regeneration programme” and was “extremely important in ensuring we continue to offer an inspiring environment for both students and staff”.

The chief executive of UPP, Sean O’Shea, said: “Following this transaction, we have invested over a third of a billion pounds into the higher education sector in the last 12 months. We are pleased to be driving important projects like this forward and providing significant private sector investment into the sector.”

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