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Unite Students secures planning for Liverpool site – 17 October 2016

11 November 2016

Unite Students, the UK’s leading developer and manager of student accommodation, has secured a planning consent for a development in the centre of Liverpool for 1,085 student bedrooms. The total development pipeline, to be delivered in the next three years, is now over 5,000 beds providing further visibility to our earnings growth outlook.

The new scheme will be built alongside our Grand Central student village, which is 99% let for the 2016/17 academic year, and will provide a home for over 2,500 students in the new combined building. This will increase our presence in a key market for Unite Students and we will continue to drive efficiencies from the scale of the building and from our new operating system PRISM.

The new property will provide a well-located student hub serving the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, close to Liverpool’s Lime Street station and the new university student campus. It is anticipated that the new development will be open in time for the 2019/20 academic year.

The site was acquired in April 2016 and planning has been delivered in under six months. The scheme is expected to achieve returns in line with Unite’s targets for regional development and will contribute approximately two pence per share to EPRA Earnings once it is completed and occupied. The total development cost, including the cost of the land, is expected to be approximately £70 million. The delivery of the scheme will be funded by internally generated sources and will continue to drive the Group’s earnings visibility and NAV growth.

Richard Simpson, Managing Director of Property for Unite Students, commented: 

“We are delighted to have secured planning consent for this site in Liverpool, which is one of the UK’s most popular university cities, with a growing student population and where we have significant experience having operated for over 15 years. This development will help to meet the strong demand for student accommodation and provide a safe and secure home for students. We will continue to progress our secured pipeline which remains focused on regional locations with strong student markets.”