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Unite Students completes £9.2m property refurbishment

10 October 2023

  • Oak Brook Park in Birmingham has been refurbished, with updates to 371 bedrooms, kitchens and en-suite bathrooms
  • The first phase of the work also includes a new reception area, which will complete by the end of the year. Phase two will see upgrades to a further 281 bedrooms
  • The work is part of a £50m-£75m annual improvements programme, which also includes refurbishments at The Bridge House in Edinburgh and Station Court in London
  • Updates will result in better student experience and environmental improvements at all three properties

Unite Students, the UK’s largest provider of student accommodation, has completed a £9.2million refurbishment at Oak Brook Park in Birmingham.

The first phase at the property, in Selly Oak, includes a full renovation of 371 bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms, plus 85 kitchens. The reception area will be transformed by the end of the year. The second phase of work, to the 281-bed block situated across the road, is due to take place in 2024.

The project, which has a yield on cost of seven per cent, adds to two other major refurbishment schemes in 2023; £9.1million works at The Bridge House in Edinburgh, and a £5.7million project at Station Court, in London.

The work is part of the company’s annual investment in building improvements, costing between £50m-£75m and adding significant environmental improvements. At Oak Brook Park, this includes a new building energy management system, smart hot water tanks, LED lighting and solar electricity panels. Carbon and energy are being reduced by 21 per cent as a result of the scheme.

Unite Students has a nomination agreement with the University of Birmingham for over half the beds at Oak Brook Park.

Bedroom after refurb at Unite Students' Oak Brook Park

Bedroom after refurb at Unite Students’ Oak Brook Park

The Bridge House in Edinburgh is also being upgraded. The work includes updates to bedrooms, shared bathrooms and all kitchens. New shower rooms have been installed in every flat in the 322-bed property. Students now benefit from a new reception entrance, additional study spaces, TV lounges and other social spaces. Smart-controlled hot water cylinders and heating help cut energy use, alongside upgrades to the building fabric including cladding improvements, new external render, plus a full window replacement.

Work has also started at Station Court, north London, which will see full refurbishment of all kitchens and bedrooms, as well as bathrooms. The project will also see enhancements to the entrance area, incorporating a new reception and increased amenity, including flexible study areas and social spaces enhancing the student experience. Solar panels are being installed to generate renewable electricity on site, along with smart controls on hot water and heating.

Claire Barber, Asset Management Director, Unite Students, said:

“We’re delighted with the results of the refurbishment work at Oak Brook Park, which will have a significant impact on students’ day-to-day living at the property. This project, and work at Bridge House and Station Court, are part of our drive to create value through asset management projects in our portfolio, as well as to reach our goal of net zero carbon across our operations and developments by 2030.”

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 157 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 also achieved a five-star British Safety Council rating in our last audit.

We are committed to raising standards in the student accommodation sector for our customers, investors, and employees. This is why our new Sustainability Strategy, launched in 2021, includes a commitment to become net zero carbon across our operations and developments by 2030.

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