Aviva funds student village for Staffordshire University

Aviva Investors has provided forward funding for a new student village complex at Staffordshire University.

Staffordshire University, College Road Campus | Aviva Investors | PBSA News
Staffordshire University, College Road Campus. Image credit: Tim Heaton (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Global asset management business of Aviva plc, Aviva Investors, has agreed to acquire and forward fund a fully amortising lease for the creation of a new student village at Staffordshire University.

The investment has been made on behalf of Aviva’s Insurance, Wealth and Retirement business, with Aviva Investors providing forward funding via a lease and leaseback structure.

The new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) will be located at the University’s Stoke-on-Trent Campus on its Leek Road site. It is expected to deliver approximately 700 new beds, including a new Student Hub on a vacant brownfield site adjacent to the existing accommodation, whilst also refurbishing 297 existing bed facilities at Clarice Cliff Court.

Students will have easy access to the new Student Hub and the main university campus, including the Catalyst Building which features a high-tech regional hub and catering facilities for students, staff and employers.

“We are pleased to have been chosen as preferred funder for what will be a transformative and vibrant project. Strong demand and a shortage in the supply of PBSA in many submarkets has increased rents for students across the country.

“With the student population expected to keep growing, it’s incredibly important that the accommodation on offer is revamped and added to where possible

“Staffordshire University is known for its strong focus on Computer Science, Games Design and Film Production, all of which are exciting growth areas. We think this will position it well for growth into the future.”

Mark Wells, Fund Manager, Real Estate Long Income, Aviva investors

The new student development at Staffordshire University will target EPC A ratings and will utilise roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to create on-site renewable electricity, alongside the addition of air source heat pumps to minimise ongoing energy demand for hot water.

Upon completion of the new development, existing accommodation at the Leek Road site will be demolished to make way for the creation of new green space on campus.

The PBSA and the new Student Hub facility are expected to complete and be ready for students in September 2026. The refurbished Clarice Cliff Court facilities are currently expected to be delivered in a phased programme for intakes of students in September 2024, 2025, and 2026 respectively.

“It’s great to be involved with the creation of a new complex for the student population at Staffordshire University.

“The UK is home to great talent, and Aviva’s annuity business is proud to be helping universities like Staffordshire to get ready for the future and nurture this potential through new environments for living and learning.”

Marcus Mollan, Investments Director, Aviva

Staffordshire University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus is situated directly opposite the main railway station and close to the city centre. It consists of two sites: College Road, which is home to computing, creative arts and engineering, and Leek Road which houses the University’s law, business, science centre and sports facilities.