Contractor appointed for Sussex University student accommodation rebuild

Students' accommodation at East Slope. Image: University of Sussex.
Students' accommodation at East Slope. Image: University of Sussex.

Balfour Beatty has been named preferred bidder on a £120M student accommodation project near Brighton for the University of Sussex.

The East Slope residences scheme will see a new 2000 bedroom living space built on the site of an existing 600 bed complex on a hillside at Falmer. Development will include a new student union and construction is set to start next year.

Balfour Beatty’s Student Accommodation business will design, build, finance and operate the project under a 50 year contract. Business development director Ian Woosey said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the University’s investment partner in the proposed residential development partnership to deliver the East Slope residences project.
 
“Extensive dialogue we have had with the University has resulted in proposals that complement the existing campus, contribute to the University’s sustainability objectives and will provide an environment that enhances the students’ experience.
 
“We now look forward to working with the University to achieve planning approval and deliver this important project.”

University of Sussex finance director Allan Spence added: “This was a highly competitive tender process, in which we received several excellent bids.
 
“Balfour Beatty demonstrated a strong understanding of our desire to develop high quality accommodation while maintaining the character of the natural landscape of Sussex within the setting of the South Downs National Park,” he added.
 
Redevelopment of East Slope has been part of the University’s housing development strategy since 2004. The first phase of additional accommodation is expected to be ready for the start of the 2017/18 academic year.

Balfour Beatty’s investment business has a portfolio of 15 student accommodation projects across the UK, US and Australia. The group’s chief executive Leo Quinn said: “Following the revaluation of the portfolio last week, this project demonstrates the continued value our investments business brings to the whole group. We look forward to supporting the University with its growth ambitions and delivering on their sustainability targets.”

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