Scape’s plans for Hammersmith PBSA funded by NatWest

Following a request for development financing by Scape earlier this year, NatWest agreed a £105m three-year funding solution to fund the development of the new scheme.

Scape Hammersmith has received a development loan from NatWest and Virgin Money that will aid the delivery of much-needed PBSA homes in London | PBSA News
Scape Hammersmith has received a development loan from NatWest and Virgin Money that will aid the delivery of much-needed PBSA homes in London.

NatWest and Virgin Money provide a £105m loan for a new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) scheme in Hammersmith, which is currently under development through a forward funding agreement between student accommodation provider Scape Living Plc and real estate company Dominus Group.

NatWest credit back-stopped the full amount, however in order to manage financing capacity to support Scape with future opportunities, NatWest was also appointed debt coordinator and sought third-party liquidity pre-transaction close.

Virgin Money was mandated due to its experience in the sector and confidence in the transaction, agreeing to provide £52.5m and leaving NatWest with the remaining half, equating to a hold level of £52.5m.

DWF, CBRE and Gardiner & Theobald provided advice for the lenders, and Simmons & Simmons and Mayer Brown for Scape.

“Scape Hammersmith is a continuation of Scape’s journey to provide best-in-class student accommodation and will help to address the significant shortage of high-quality PBSA developments in London. We are thrilled to have partnered with NatWest to deliver this scheme as we continue to build out our significant pipeline of developments across the UK.”

Harry Daws, Investment Director, Scape Living Plc

Situated a short walk away from Hammersmith Broadway station, the scheme at 181 Talgarth Road is nearby a wide range of universities including Imperial College London, University of Roehampton and Kings College London’s Strand Campus, alongside several local Higher Education Institutions.

“We are delighted to support Scape Living with their new student accommodation development in Hammersmith. This transaction is another example of how NatWest provides optimal funding solutions alongside our lending partners, delivers execution excellence, and further solidifies our role as a cornerstone real estate debt coordinator.”

Georgia Dunne, Director of Structured Real Estate Finance, NatWest

Scape are intending to let 357 of the 713 student rooms under a nominations agreement with a London University at an affordable rate which is capped by the Mayor of London. This will make living in London more accessible to more students. The remaining rooms will be let privately.

On-site amenities will include workspace and meeting rooms, a cinema, communal kitchens, a gym, roof terrace and bike storage. The building is targeting completion in June 2025, ready for the start of the 2025/26 academic year in September.

“NatWest has a long history of supporting the student residential market and we are proud to be playing our part in providing high quality housing within touching distance of many London universities and colleges. We are thrilled to commence our relationship with Scape Living with this student accommodation development loan.”

Eirini Kalamara, Relationship Director, NatWest

In 2020, Scape entered into a £500m joint venture with APG Asset Management to deliver PBSA and Living assets across the UK, where both parties will be deploying significant capital over numerous assets. Scape will be operator of the assets once built.