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Unite Group plc Granted planning permission for Bristol 416 bed student accommodation

The Unite Group plc (LON: UTG), the UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, has received resolution to grant planning permission for its 416-bed student accommodation development in Bristol city centre, incorporating the conversion of the former Georgian hospital building into 62 rented residential homes.

The site occupies a prime location in Bristol city centre and will provide much-needed accommodation for students when delivered for the start of the 2021/22 academic year. Unite is in advanced discussions with the University of Bristol for a long-term nomination agreement on the scheme.

This forms part of a wider University Partnership discussion with the University of Bristol covering around 3,000 beds. This will include a large proportion of Unite’s existing operational assets in the city following targeted investments and the Company’s 650-bed development in close proximity to the University’s new Temple Quarter campus.

The Old BRI scheme will generate a development yield of around 6%, reflecting the income visibility delivered through the wider University Partnership. The rented residential portion of the scheme includes 20% affordable units. Unite will deliver the residential portion of the scheme with the option of retaining or disposing of the homes on completion.

Richard Smith, Unite Students Chief Executive, commented:

“Bristol is one of the UK’s leading university cities and continues to see strong growth in student numbers. We are delighted to be working towards an exciting partnership with the University of Bristol, which strengthens our long-standing and valuable relationship. Old BRI creates new supply in a city centre location where there is an acute shortage of high quality affordable student accommodation.”

Simon Bray, Director of Campus Operations, University of Bristol commented:

“The University of Bristol has had a relationship with Unite for accommodation in the city for over 20 years. We are pleased that we had the opportunity to provide greater input in the design of the new offering and refurbishment of existing properties. Our priority is the needs of our students, ensuring they all have access to accommodation which provides them with real value for money. We believe the new arrangements with Unite will help provide this surety.”

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