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Harper Macleod Projects team advises on groundbreaking UK student accommodation project worth £57m

The Infrastructure & Projects team at leading Scottish law firm Harper Macleod has advised on a groundbreaking £57 million student accommodation project which is one of the first of its kind in the UK.

Uliving Pittville Student Accommodation Facilities Management

The project, which will create a new student village at the University of Gloucestershire, is being funded by bonds guaranteed by Her Majesty’s Treasury through the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

Chancellor George Osborne backed the project as it reached financial close, saying that the UK guarantees scheme will “help kickstart other exciting infrastructure projects like this one right across the country”.

The development will transform the university’s Pittville Campus, with the new village including the provision of a gym, dining hall, faith room, students’ union office and over 1000sqm of office space for university staff. The project also includes the construction of 577 new student rooms, as well as the refurbishment of 214 existing rooms.

Uliving, the company created by housing association Derwent Living and Bouygues Development, teamed up with infrastructure developer & fund manager Equitix to provide the equity. The senior debt for the project has been raised through a wrapped, publicly listed bond, guaranteed by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority on behalf of Her Majesty’s Treasury.

Harper Macleod’s Infrastructure & Projects team, led in the transaction by Partner Euan Mitchell who advised on the facilities management element of the deal said: “We’re delighted to have played a part in such a high-profile project which will deliver first class facilities to the university’s students. This is the third Uliving scheme in which we have acted and it takes advantage of innovative funding solutions that allow such complex redevelopment projects to take place.”

Samantha Veal, Director at Uliving, added: “Uliving is delighted to begin the delivery of this exciting student village at Pittville. We have worked closely with the university and our funding partners to design buildings and services which we believe will provide a memorable university experience for the students that live with us.”

A full design, build, finance and operation scheme, the new Pittville village is set to be completed ready in time for the start of the 2017/18 academic year.