Source - RNS
RNS Number : 5001O
Watkin Jones plc
18 May 2018

For immediate release

18 May 2018



Watkin Jones plc

('Watkin Jones' or the 'Group')


Update on Build to Rent Developments


Watkin Jones plc (AIM:WJG), a leading UK developer and constructor of multi occupancy property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation and build to rent sectors, confirms that the Group has entered into a development arrangement with M&G Real Estate ('M&G') and Lochailort to deliver a 315 apartment build to rent scheme in Reading.  As part of the arrangement, Watkin Jones has entered into a development funding agreement with M&G, under which it will receive £68.5 million for the development works which it is to carry out. Construction is due to commence on site immediately, with completion targeted for 2021.


Watkin Jones has been appointed as the developer for the purpose-designed build to rent scheme, which comprises 315 high specification studio, one, two and three bed apartments.  Residents will benefit from outstanding facilities including a triple height atrium, cinema room, multiple private dining facilities, tenant lounges and a selection of rooftop terraces.


The Reading development agreement represents an important additional opportunity for Watkin Jones' build to rent strategy, alongside the Group's growing owned site pipeline.  As reported in the Group's trading update on 5 April 2018, the Group is in control of five build to rent development sites and remains in positive negotiations on several other development opportunities.  The Group continues to expect to deliver over 1,500 units in the next five years.


Mark Watkin Jones, Chief Executive of Watkin Jones plc, said: "We are delighted to have been chosen to work with M&G and Lochailort to deliver this high specification build to rent scheme in Reading.  It is particularly pleasing that our partners recognised our development expertise and we see this as a catalyst to securing more build to rent development opportunities.  The development agreement for the Reading scheme replicates the delivery elements of our student accommodation model and, alongside the excellent visibility in our student accommodation development business, reinforces our confidence in our business model and the markets in which we operate."


- Ends -


For further information:

Watkin Jones plc


Mark Watkin Jones, Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 1248 362 516

Phil Byrom, Chief Financial Officer



Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Advisor & Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Mike Bell / Justin Jones



Jefferies Hoare Govett (Joint Broker)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 8000

Max Jones / Will Soutar




Media enquiries:



Henry Harrison-Topham / Richard Oldworth

Jamie Hooper / Catriona Flint


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000

[email protected]


Notes to Editors

Watkin Jones is a leading UK developer and constructor of multi occupancy property assets, with a focus on the student accommodation and build to rent sectors.  The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high quality developments.  Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered more than 34,500 student beds across 107 sites.  In addition, Fresh Property Group, the Group's specialist accommodation management company, manages more than 16,000 student beds on behalf of its institutional clients.  Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 50 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments.  The Group is now expanding its development and management operations into the build to rent sector.


The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.


Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L.  For additional information please visit:

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