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University of Sussex has been working to upgrade the majority of their student accommodation in parallel with redeveloping their academic estate in a 10 year strategic plan called “A better university for a better world”. 

The student accommodation redevelopment adjacent the South Downs has been done in two major stages, being the East Slope 2,113 beds awarded in 2017 (£179m) and the West Slope 1,899 beds – a mix of student housing and spaces for learning, socialising and student wellbeing services – awarded 2023 (£213m).

Throughout construction, modular construction techniques will be used, to build the modular steel frame and bedroom units offsite and in a controlled factory environment, significantly reducing carbon emissions by limiting the number of lorry movements and material deliveries to and from site.

The design uses green roof technology to encourage biodiversity in soft landscaping. And water conservation and waste management are integrated throughout.

Benefits to the client
Balfour Beatty is the winning construction and maintenance contractor and SPV shareholder for both schemes.  The SPV is jointly owned with the University of Sussex to reinforce the partnership.

Newbridge role
Newbridge as financial advisor advised Balfour Beatty on their successful bid for the East Slope and the subsequent development of West Slope. Structuring the financing, assisting negotiating with bond managers and institutional investors, and modelling the resultant project financings. This also included working with Balfour Beatty on ESG aspects of the financings.

Newbridge was also jointly responsible for arranging the financing for West Slope. This was managed as a late stage competitive private placement, the first time such a process has been used for a UK student accommodation project, demonstrating the maturity of the market in this sector.

Both financings were wrapped by Assured Guaranty.

Project leads

Matthew Houseley

Partner

Richard Dodson

Partner

Grant Vaughan

Partner

Chris Evans

Director

Insights

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Newbridge’s Regeneration and Development Team is advising Enfield Council on the procurement of a development partner to deliver up to 600 new homes at Meridian 13.

Newbridge chaired a roundtable between housing associations and three leading funders to explore the potential positive impact of SLLs in the social housing sector.