University of Sussex and Balfour Beatty achieve financial close for new student accommodation
The University of Sussex and Balfour Beatty have achieved financial close for a new student accommodation project set to be built on the institution's campus.
This project will provide bedrooms for 2,117 students, in addition to various new student amenities and a Students’ Union building.
Balfour Beatty was appointed as the preferred bidder for the project in January 2015, and since then the company has worked alongside the university to win planning approval for the project.
Balfour Beatty will invest around £23m, representing approximately 80% of the project equity. It has agreed to design, build and operate the new residences for five decades.
The university will serve as a co-shareholder and invest the final 20% of the project's total equity, at a cost of roughly £5.7m.
University of Sussex finance director Allan Spencer said: “We are delighted at the response of investors to the university’s long term strategy and the funding structure developed with Balfour Beatty.”
“The bond allows the East Slope Residences project to proceed and facilitates a key element of the University’s strategy to accommodate more students on our campus and to provide high quality residences with more social space and amenities.”
“The university has invested over £200 million in the last few years to redevelop our campus, with both landmark academic and residential facilities, as we continue to reinforce our position as one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions.”
Balfour Beatty investments director Ian Woosey said: “Balfour Beatty is delighted to have formed a strong partnership with the University and secured this level of funding.
"We believe the fact that a bond of this size was able to achieve such attractive pricing demonstrates the underlying strength of the sector.”
“We look forward to providing the additional high-quality residences for the students at the University of Sussex, while maintaining the character of the natural landscape of the campus on the edge of the South Downs National Park.”
The first phase of additional accommodation is scheduled to be completed and ready for the start of the 2018 / 19 academic year.