Watkin Jones tops out at Metalworks PBSA scheme

Watkin Jones announces the topping out of Metalworks, a purpose-built student accommodation scheme in Bristol.

Metalworks student accommodation development. Watkin Jones has reached a construction milestone today | PBSA News
Metalworks student accommodation development. Watkin Jones has reached a construction milestone today.

Watkin Jones announces the topping out of Metalworks, a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in Dalby Avenue in Bedminster, Bristol. Topping out today (23 August 2023), the milestone was celebrated with a commemorative event signalling that the concrete framework is now complete.

A proud moment for all involved in the project – including KKR, subcontractors and local councillors – topping out was marked by laying the last remaining concrete at the top of the highest building.

“It’s great to see Watkin Jones hitting this milestone in an important venture that will develop exceptional student accommodation in one of the UK’s top university cities. Watkin Jones is again proving to be a great delivery partner for KKR, and we’re delighted to see their innovative and sustainability-led designs for Metalworks start to become a reality.”

Seb d’Avanzo, Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Acquisitions, KKR in Europe
L to R: Richard Harris, Managing Director, Group Delivery at Watkin Jones; Patricia Gomez, Principal Urban Designer at Bristol City Council; Paul Smith, Director of Campus Operations, University of Bristol; and Alex Pease, Interim CEO at Watkin Jones | PBSA News
L to R: Richard Harris, Managing Director, Group Delivery at Watkin Jones; Patricia Gomez, Principal Urban Designer at Bristol City Council; Paul Smith, Director of Campus Operations, University of Bristol; and Alex Pease, Interim CEO at Watkin Jones.

Metalworks will deliver 819 student beds across two buildings in 82 five-to-twelve bed cluster flats. With c.15,000 sq ft of internal and external amenity space, residents will have access to a private terrace, a courtyard, gardens and a newly restored Malago River corridor. The development will also include attractive landscaping that supports and encourages local biodiversity.

The new scheme is expected to complete in time for the 2024 academic year. Once complete, Metalworks will be leased on a long-term nominations agreement with The University of Bristol.

Forward funded through KKR’s European Core Plus Real Estate strategy, the Metalworks PBSA development is targeting a WiredScore Silver rating. Conveniently located near Bedminster station, residents will benefit from excellent transport links to university campuses, whilst being within walking distance to both Bristol’s city centre and Bristol Temple Mead train station.  

“We have worked closely with both the University of Bristol and the team at KKR on the Metalworks development, which represents an exemplary PBSA scheme. The topping out of this scheme demonstrates Watkin Jones’ track record in delivering top quality PBSA accommodation which will offer University of Bristol students’ sustainable accommodation to live in, alongside high-quality amenity space.  

“As a thriving and vibrant city, Bristol continues to be a highly desirable location to live and study in, and we believe this great scheme will help alleviate some of the housing shortage for students.”

George Dyer, Group Investment Director, Watkin Jones

Watkin Jones is a developer and manager of residential for rent homes. The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high-quality developments. Since 1999, the company has delivered 48,000 student beds across 143 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK PBSA market.