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Trowers & Hamlins advises on innovative financing of 3,000-bed student accommodation scheme at the U

Trowers & Hamlins advises on innovative financing of 3,000-bed student accommodation scheme at the University of Hertfordshire

Trowers & Hamlins has acted on a significant student accommodation deal which will see the University of Hertfordshire add 3,000 high-specification units to its College Lane campus in Hatfield.

The scheme, valued at £190m, will allow for the construction of 2,500 new on-campus student accommodation units, in addition to refurbishing 500 existing units.  The accommodation will be developed, maintained and operated as part of a 50-year agreement which was uniquely financed using a £145m index-linked senior secured unwrapped bond. 

Trowers & Hamlins advised ULiving@Hertfordshire, a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) established for the scheme.  The SPV consisted of a consortium made up of Bouygues Developments Ltd. Meridiam Infrastructure, Centro Place Investments Ltd. (a subsidiary of Derwent Living), University of Hertfordshire, and Legal & General. 

Sara Bailey, Head of Housing and Regeneration at Trowers & Hamlins, commented:  "This scheme is the first of its kind, having been financed by a listed bond, and it is also unusual in that the University itself took a stake in the project as a member of the consortium.  As the student accommodation market in the UK continues to provide long-term security for investors, we will no doubt continue to see new partnerships and means of financing come to the fore.  We are delighted to have been involved in this cutting-edge scheme." 

In addition to the student accommodation, the University's scheme will provide new sports pitches, a campus gym, informal learning and social spaces and a new dedicated bus route.  Bouygues (UK) Ltd. will oversee construction of buildings, with phase one of the scheme due to complete in September 2014 and the third and final phase in September 2016.  Post-completion, Derwent Living will be responsible for overall facilities management.

The cross-departmental team at Trowers & Hamlins comprised Sara Bailey, Julian Keith, David Zong, Neil Waller, Sarah MacLachlan, Assad Maqbool, Charles Wilson, Yasha Gosrani and Nia Stewart.