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Unite Students builds its first mixed use property in Edinburgh

27 March 2024

  • Unite Students’ new property in Edinburgh combines student, build-to-rent (BTR) and affordable units – making it the first of its kind in the company’s 70,000-bed portfolio
  • Burnet Point will be Unite Students’ lowest carbon new-build to date
  • The property’s life cycle assessment is currently 702 kgCO2e/m2, the Group’s lowest, another step towards its 2030 net zero development targets
  • It will have 298 student beds, 49 private-rented and 17 affordable residential apartments, and dedicated community space
  • Completion expected in September 2025 for the 2025/26 academic year

Unite Students’ new 401-bed property in Edinburgh will be a mix of student and private residential – the first of its kind for the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation.

Burnet Point will include purpose-built student accommodation, build-to-rent (BTR) and affordable apartments.

The city centre development, which has total development costs of £59million, will also be Unite Students’ lowest carbon new-build and will use low-carbon concrete and timber composite, an environmentally friendly alternative to natural wood. Its life cycle assessment is currently 702 kgCO2e/m2 (carbon emission equivalent per square metre), the lowest in the Group’s new-build portfolio.

As part of the development, Unite Students will provide a dedicated community space. It will work with local charities and community groups to find a partner over the next few months.

Burnet Point is set to be completed in September next year, ready for the start of the 2025/26 academic year. In total, it will have 298 student beds and 49 private-rented residential apartments. A total of 17 affordable residential apartments will be provided through housing association, Hillcrest Homes.

This development further extends Unite Students’ BTR pilot, which began in 2022 when it acquired 180 Stratford, in Stratford, London.

Tom Brewerton, Group Development Director at Unite Students, said:

“This is the company’s first combined development of purpose-built student accommodation, build-to-rent and affordable housing. We look forward to contributing positively to the student and private rental market in Edinburgh to help address the supply-demand imbalance in the city. This development reflects Unite Students’ ongoing commitment to provide high-standard, affordable student accommodation in locations where demand is greatest.

“We are excited to build our lowest carbon new-build property to date in our portfolio. The development will also contribute to the regeneration of the local area, which has seen significant investment in recent years. We are working closely with the community and later this year will offer a dedicated space for use by a local charity which is aligned with our purpose of creating a Home for Success.”


Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact Unite Students press office on 0117 4506300 or email:

About Unite Students

Unite Students is the UK’s largest owner, manager, and developer of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) serving the country’s world-leading higher education sector. We provide homes to 70,000 students across 158 properties in 23 leading university towns and cities. We currently partner with over 60 universities across the UK.

Our people are driven by a common purpose: to provide a ‘Home for Success’ for the students who live with us. Unite Students’ accommodation is safe and secure, high quality, and affordable. Students live predominantly in en-suite study bedrooms with rents covering all bills, insurance, 24-hour security and high-speed Wi-Fi.

We are committed to raising standards in the student accommodation sector for our customers, investors, and employees. Our Sustainability Strategy includes a commitment to become net zero carbon across our operations and developments by 2030. It includes our Sustainable Construction Framework, which outlines our approach for reducing embodied carbon.

Founded in 1991 in Bristol, the Unite Group is an award-winning Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit Unite Group’s corporate website or the Unite Students’ site