9 October 2019
THE UNITE GROUP PLC
("Unite Students", "Unite", the "Group", or the "Company")
NEW UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP WITH UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
The Unite Group plc, one of the UK's leading owners, developers and managers of student accommodation, announces that it has agreed commercial terms with the University of Leeds for a 30-year nominations agreement for its White Rose View development in Leeds.
The agreement covers 559 of the 976 beds in the development, which will open in time for the 2020/21 academic year. Unite has worked in partnership with the University of Leeds to support the scheme through planning and developing its design. The agreement underpins a development yield in line with the Company's stated targets.
White Rose View is located in Leeds city centre, near to the University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University. The agreement extends Unite's existing relationship with the University of Leeds, helping to meet the accommodation needs of its 38,000 students.
Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, commented:
"The University of Leeds is a highly valued partner of Unite with our relationship dating back more than 15 years. This latest partnership agreement supports our focus on the quality and security of our income, by aligning with mid and high-tariff Universities where there is strong demand for affordable, high-quality student accommodation. We continue to target one to two new University Partnership deals per year."
For further information, please contact:
Richard Smith / Joe Lister / Paul Richmond Tel: +44 117 302 7005
Justin Griffiths / Victoria Heslop Tel: +44 20 7250 1446
About Unite Students
Unite Students is one of the UK's largest owners, managers and developers of purpose-built student accommodation serving the country's world-leading higher education sector. We currently provide homes for over 50,000 students in circa 130 properties across 22 leading university towns and cities in England and Scotland. Unite also has a strong development pipeline, which will deliver around 5,000 beds in the next three years.
Our 1,400 people are driven by a common purpose: to provide the students who live with us a 'Home for Success' and to be the most trusted brand in the sector. We do this through quality service, quality people and quality properties, all designed on the basis of an excellent insight into students' needs and preferences.
Unite's accommodation is high quality, safe and secure, and located where students want to live. Students live predominantly in en-suite study bedrooms with rents covering all bills, insurance, 24-hour security, fortnightly cleaning services and high-speed Wi-Fi. MyUnite, our mobile app, provides practical support such as instant messaging and maintenance requests.
Our commitment to customer service is powered by an innovative, in-house operating platform. It provides a wide range of benefits to our students, such as an optimised online booking process, as well as providing us with a unique ability to drive value from our portfolio through scale efficiencies and revenue management.
Alongside delivering quality service, our other strategic priority is delivering growing and sustainable earnings, underpinned by a strong capital structure. A key part of this strategy is growing the number of beds let through partnerships with mid and high tariff universities which are experiencing record levels of student demand. We currently partner with 60 higher education institutions, guaranteeing that approximately 60% of our rooms are let under 'nomination agreements' providing high visibility of forward occupancy and rental growth.
Unite is invested in and operates two specialist funds and joint ventures with institutional investment partners: the £2 billion Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF), and the £1 billion London Student Accommodation Vehicle (LSAV).
Unite is the founder of and major donor to the Unite Foundation, a charitable trust established to support talented students facing challenging financial circumstances through the provision of free accommodation annual scholarships. The Foundation has so far provided scholarships for 250 young people working in close collaboration with 29 partner universities.
Founded in 1991 in Bristol, Unite Group is an award-winning Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), listed on the London Stock Exchange and a member of the FTSE 250 Index.
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