Ex-minister helps bed in £120m student flats deal
A £120 million deal has been struck with the help of a former higher education minister to build a 2,000-bed student accommodation complex that will serve Newcastle University and the University of Northumbria.
The project will be financed by Templewood merchant bank and built by property and construction firm Metnor Group.
The project is entirely independent of the universities – which will have no control over rents or services – but it has been done with their knowledge, a spokeswoman for Templewood said.
The new “student village” will contain retail and leisure facilities and will include four-, five-, six- and seven-bed apartments.
Templewood was founded in early 2011. Its advisory board is chaired by Lord Triesman, who was made “minister for students” in 2007.
The Labour peer, who from 1993 to 2001 was general secretary of the Association of University Teachers before it merged to become the University and College Union, said he was “delighted” with the deal.
Although this is Templewood’s first student accommodation deal, Lord Triesman said he was “confident” that the company was “well on the route to being one of the key players in the highest-quality student residential world”.
The spokeswoman for Templewood said the firm was looking for similar opportunities to build accommodation targeted at students of other Russell Group or 1994 Group universities.
The first stage of the development is under construction, and it is expected that 275 beds will be available for the 2013-14 academic year.