Bouygues team close £65m UK university project

Bouygues Development and Derwent Living will construct 648 new student units for the university’s multi-million pound Knowledge Gateway project, in Colchester. Aviva is providing debt for the deal.

A consortium of Bouygues Development and not-for-profit accommodation operator Derwent Living has reached financial close on a student accommodation scheme for the University of Essex.

Bouygues Development, Derwent Living and Equitix are the equity providers for the £65 million scheme (€83 million; $102 million) and Aviva Commercial Finance is the senior lender, Bouygues said in a statement. The French firm did not, however, disclose any financing details for the deal.

The team, known as Uliving, will build and manage 648 new student units for the University of Essex and assume management of a further 776 existing units. In all, Uliving will run a total of 1,414 dwellings for a period of 50 years from July 2013, when the entire student complex will open.

Bouygues UK is the design-build contractor for the £22 million new-build part of the scheme, called The Meadows. The complex will comprise town houses, accommodating 228 students in groups of 12, plus flat clusters for a further 420 students.

Derwent is the facilities management contractor.

The Meadows is the first development on the University’s Knowledge Gateway site, which is an integrated development of 400,000 square feet of commercial space, housing units and student study bedrooms being developed next to the University’s Colchester Campus.

Within the master plan there is planning consent for a mixed use development of offices, hotel and restaurant, leisure and retail.

The roadways, paths, landscaping and lighting works were completed by Jackson Civil Engineering Group as part of a contract estimated to be worth £7 million